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Kids and teens get the word on helmets
Monday, 02 February 2004





Kids appear to be getting the message about wearing helmets while skiing and snowboarding, but adults don't seem to be as aware.

Two-thirds of the respondents younger than 18 wore helmets when skiing or snowboarding, according a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Vermont and Burlington's Fletcher Allen Health Care Hospital. Less than a third of respondents older than 18 wore helmets.

The team amassed more than 10,000 observations last winter in Vermont at Smugglers' Notch, Jay Peak, Mad River Glen and Stowe Mountain Resort.

"Our goal is to get this message out and find ways to voluntarily achieve universal helmet use among both children and older skiers and snowboarders," says Dr. Robert Williams, a pediatric anesthesiologist and critical-care specialist at Vermont Children's Hospital.

Williams compares helmets to seat belts: Both are important safety measures that should be used habitually, he said. According to a 1999 report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, helmets could prevent about 7,700 head injuries and more than 10 deaths annually if they were used more.

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