When I was invited to an event from the fine folks at Preventable (@preventable on twitter) last night on winter sport safety, I found the timing quite fortuitous. I’m heading to Sun Peaks over New Years for a ski vacation, and being the utter wuss that I am, I was definitely interested in knowing how to keep my self intact and injury free while I’m there.
The point behind the Preventable campaign (run by the Community Against Preventable Injuries) is to have us all thinking a bit more about how, when and where we place ourselves at risk. It’s all about what British Columbians can do to prevent injury, not what they shouldn’t do.
I’ll admit, I’ve been participating in snow sports in one form or another for the better part of the last two decades, and I’ve never ever worn a helmet. Biking, sure. Rollerblading, yep. Snowboarding? No.
It’s not for any good reason – I’ve just never thought I needed one. I don’t ride aggressively, I don’t go out in terrible conditions, I don’t bother going through the trees and I’ve never even sniffed at the back country.
Turns out, none of that actually matters.
You probably remember actress Natasha Richardson‘s fatal ski accident from last spring, caused by a seemingly innocuous fall on the bunny hill. It’s estimated by the Brain Injury Association of Canada that nearly 50% of all skiing and snowboarding head injuries could be prevented by simply wearing a helmet.
Of course there are plenty of other injuries one could sustain through an accident on the slopes – but why make brain injury one of them?
In the meantime, I’m now going to try and right this wrong (because I’m awfully fond of my brain, addled as it may be) and get a helmet to see me through this season’s round of adventures on the slopes.