Tag Archives: skiing

Head USA Recalls Ski and Snowboard Helmets Due to Head Injury Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction, has announced that Head USA, of Boulder, Colo., will recall its snowboard helmets because of the head injury risk.

“The helmets do not comply with the impact requirements of safety standards for helmets, posing a risk of head injury,” according to the Commission.

The recall involves six models of HEAD ski and snowboard helmets:  Agent, Alia, Andor, Arise, Arosa and Avril. They were sold in sizes M/L and XL/XXL in black, blue, green white and yellow, with straps in a variety of colors. HEAD, the model name, size and “Production Code: Dec. 2014” are printed on stickers that can be found by lifting the lining above the right earpiece. The helmets were sold at specialty ski and snowboard shops and online from January 2015 through December 2015, for between $80 and $120.

“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled helmets and contact Head USA to receive a free replacement helmet,” according to the Commission.

More detais can be found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2016/Head-USA-Recalls-Ski-and-Snowboard-Helmets/#remedy



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Head Injuries Are Up on the Slopes, Despite Helmet Use

A fascinating story in the New York Times has reported that head injuries are up on the slopes, despite the increased use of helmets.

Experts quoted in the story cite a few reasons for this, the most significant being an increase in risky behavior. This, of course, is similar to the argument made about helmets on the football field, that players are more likely to lead with the head, then use proper tackling technique.

The article elaborated on this point: “Experts agree that the roots of the trend are 2012-03-14 17.05.27complicated and could be related to increased awareness about brain injuries and reporting of them. But they also agreed on one element underpinning the trend: an increase in risk-taking behaviors that they said the snow-sports industry had embraced. In recent years, many resorts have built bigger features in their terrain parks and improved access to more extreme terrain. At the same time, advances in equipment have made it easier to ski faster, perform tricks and venture out of bounds.

“‘There’s a push toward faster, higher, pushing the limits being the norm, not the exception,’ said Nina Winans, a sports medicine physician at Tahoe Forest MultiSpecialty Clinics in Truckee, Calif. ‘So, all of those factors — terrain parks, jumping cliffs and opening terrain that maybe wasn’t open in the past — play into some of these statistics with injuries.'”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sports/on-slopes-rise-in-helmet-use-but-no-decline-in-brain-injuries.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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MD Talks about Preventing Concussions on the Slopes

Matthew Gammons, MD, a leading expert on snowboard and ski safety, and contributing author of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM)’s latest position statement, “Concussion in Sport,” recently issued four pieces of advice concerning the use of a helmet while skiing and snowboarding on the slopes this winter:

“1. Wear a helmet: Helmets can help prevent more serious head injuries such a skull fractures and moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injuries.

“2. Understand the limitation of your helmet: Helmets do not help prevent concussion so if you fall and experience the signs or symptoms of a concussion, make sure you seek medical attention. Additionally, the faster you go or higher you jump limits a helmet’s ability to provide protection.

“3. Ski and ride within your limits: Skiers and snowboarders tend to ski/ride faster and take more chances while wearing a helmet. This may increase their risk or severity of an injury.

“4. Know your mountain and the conditions: Being unfamiliar with a trail or park, coupled with variable terrain conditions, sometimes causes skiers and snowboarders to get hurt. Many injuries come at the crossover points of trails or on blinded drop-offs. Make sure you scout your trails and jumps prior to increasing your speed and risk.”

Dr. Gammons is a sports medicine physician at the Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic and the Killington Medical Clinic. He is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Associate Editor of Sports Health and member of the Board of Directors of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Dr. Gammons serves as a team physician for the United States Ski and Snowboard Teams in addition to several colleges, ski academies and high schools. He has a special interest in injury prevention and sports concussion. He is board-certified in family practice and sports medicine.

The AMSSM’s full position statement on “Concussions in Sport” is available at http://www.amssm.org/Content/pdf%20files/2012_ConcussionPositionStmt.pdf

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