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The role of helmets in skiing and snowboarding
  1. P McCrory
  1. Centre for Sports Medicine Research and Education and the Brain research Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr McCrory, PO Box 93, Shoreham, Victoria 3916, Australia;

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Helmets need to be developed using injury data and suitable standards

Haid was the first to raise the issue of helmet use in skiing when, in 1955, he published a study of fatal ski injuries treated in Innsbruck in Austria and suggested that head injury might be less severe if a helmet was worn.1 Since then the main proponent of helmet use in all aspects of skiing has been the Swiss neurosurgeon, Sooyoung Oh, although the evidence presented for his recommendations is anecdotal.2,3

The issue of sport specific helmet design becomes more important. Because at the present point in time we have only limited data on precise injury mechanisms in skiing and snowboarding, which suggests that there is no common mechanism to the occurrence of concussive injuries or skull fractures in these sports.4,5 This would mean that any helmet would have to be designed differently for these two sports. Injuries occurring in ski racing occur at far higher impact velocities than recreational skiing and furthermore …

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