Preventable Urges You To Wear A Helmet This Winter

With winter in full swing and fresh powder beckoning skiers and snowboarders to the mountain, over 4 million Canadians will be hitting the slopes across the country. Preventable, in partnership with Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), is bringing back its winter “Have a word with yourself” campaign to raise awareness of the attitudes that lead to preventable injuries in order to help people prevent head and neck injuries during the ski season.

Over the course of January and February, the Preventable snow team will be making the rounds at Cypress Mountain, Big White, Silver Star and Mount Seymour with its “Have a word with yourself” activity, encouraging skiers and snowboarders to don a helmet before they carve fresh tracks. Wearing jackets and using snowboards with the slogan, the team is handing out helmet safety pamphlets and coupons for $40 off helmets, and also placing the branded snowboards around several ski areas as a reminder for people to stay safe.

“Proper helmet use reduces head and neck injuries and saves lives,” says Bill Adams, IBC Vice-President, Western & Pacific Region. “IBC encourages everyone enjoying outdoor winter activities to focus on doing so safely, including the use of protective helmets to avoid injury. We are proud to partner with Preventable in bringing this important message to BC skiers and snowboarders so they can enjoy winter activities “Head and neck trauma is the leading cause of death among skiers and snowboarders,” says Preventable spokesperson, Dr. Ian Pike. “This campaign encourages riders to stop and think about their attitudes and behaviours and educates them about some of the staggering statistics linked to helmet safety.”

Consider these statistics:

  • Helmets have been linked to a 35 per cent reduction in head injuries for skiers and snowboarders (Russell et al., 2010)
  • Helmets reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by as much as 60% (Cusimano & Kwok, 2010)
  • There are more than 700 skiing and snowboarding injuries, among all ages, that require hospitalization annually (BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit)
  • In 2013, BC Children’s Hospital had about 51 visits to its emergency department because of snowboarding injuries, and 82 visits related to skiing for those aged 17 and under (BCCH CHIRPP, 2013)
  • The Canadian Ski Council reports that BC has the lowest helmet usage in Canada at only 66 percent.
  • In addition, only 59 per cent of Canadian skiers and snowboarders between the ages of 25 – 34 wear helmets. The good news is that Canadians’ helmet usage has increased overall to 71% in 2010.
  • It is estimated that each dollar invested in a helmet saves $30 in social costs (Parachute Canada)

To learn more about helmet safety on the slopes and preventable injuries, visit www.preventable.ca or follow us on Twitter at @preventable.

Ski hill activity dates are as follows:

• February 14 – Big White

• February 15 – Silver Star

• February 21 – Mount Seymour

 

James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email james@hellovancity.com

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