The effect of helmets on the risk of head and neck injuries among skiers and snowboarders: a meta-analysis

Russell, Kelly; Christie, Josh; Hagel, Brent E.
March 2010
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;3/9/2010, Vol. 182 Issue 4, p333
Academic Journal
Background: The prevention of head injuries in alpine activities has focused on helmets. However, no systematic review has examined the effect of helmets on head and neck injuries among skiers and snowboarders. Methods: We searched electronic databases, conference proceedings and reference lists using a combination of the key words "head injury or head trauma," "helmet" and "skiing or snowboarding." We included studies that used a control group; compared skiers or snowboarders with and without helmets; and measured at least one objectively quantified outcome (e.g., head injury, and neck or cervical injury). Results: We included 10 case-control, 1 case-control/ case-crossover and 1 cohort study in our analysis. The pooled odds ratio (OR) indicated that skiers and snowboarders with a helmet were significantly less likely than those without a helmet to have a head injury (OR 0.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.55-0.79). The result was similar for studies that used controls without an injury (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.36- 0.92), those that used controls with an injury other than a head or neck injury (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.52-0.80) and studies that included children under the age of 13 years (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.27-0.59). Helmets were not associated with an increased risk of neck injury (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.72-1.09). Interpretation: Our findings show that helmets reduce the risk of head injury among skiers and snowboarders with no evidence of an increased risk of neck injury.


Related Articles

  • Skiers, Snowboarders, and Safety Helmets. Cusimano, Michael D.; Kwok, Judith // JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association;2/17/2010, Vol. 303 Issue 7, p661 

    The authors emphasize the importance of safety helmets for skiers and snowboarders. They argue that wearing personal protective equipment while skiing and snowboarding should always be promoted. They reflect on why legislation on wearing protective equipment has not solved the prevalence of...

  • Limiting performance of helmets for the prevention of head injury. Cheng; Pilkey; Crandall; Bass; Darvish // Shock & Vibration;1999, Vol. 6 Issue 5/6, p299 

    This is a study of the theoretical optimal (limiting) performance of helmets for the prevention of head injury. A rigid head injury model and a two-mass translational head injury model are employed. Several head injury criteria are utilized, including head acceleration, the head injury criterion...

  • Use your head; strap on a helmet. McGee, Daniel P. // Grand Rapids Parent Magazine;July97, Vol. 9 Issue 7, p20 

    Focuses on the importance of using helmets in preventing head injuries. Recommendation for requiring active children to use the head gear as a safety precaution for outdoor activities; Description of how to use helmets properly.

  • Former Competitive Skier Turned Doctor is Available to Talk About Avoiding Ski and Snowboarding Injuries.  // Biomedical Market Newsletter;1/14/2012, Vol. 21, p1 

    The article offers information on the instructions given by Doctor Ed Laskowski, Managing Director of Mayo Clinic, Minnesota for the prevention of ski and snowboarding injuries. It mentions several exercising tips to avoid injury which includes endurance exercises, strength training and ski...

  • All About Helmets.  // Wingman;Summer2012, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p8 

    The article presents questions and answers related to helmets, including why helmets are important, how a helmet can protect the head, and how to tell which helmet is the right one to use.

  • Are Skiers and Snowboarders Prone to Head Injuries?  // American Fitness;Jan/Feb2010, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p47 

    The article reports on a 2009 study published in the journal "Wilderness and Environmental Medicine," which indicated that the risk of head injury and loss of consciousness increases when skiers or snowboarders do not wear helmets.

  • Head protection.  // Occupational Hazards;Jan99, Vol. 61 Issue 1, p60 

    Reports on changes and updates to head protection equipment for United States workplaces. Hard hats; Addition of lateral protection requirements; Protective helmets; Quick field test for head protection.

  • Do cycle helmets prevent serious head injury? McCarthy, Mark // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);10/10/92, Vol. 305 Issue 6858, p881 

    Discusses the use of bicycle helmets in preventing serious head injuries in Great Britain. Statistics on the occurrence of head injuries; Protection provided by the helmet to the head; Effect of increased use to the mortality rates.

  • Head injuries, helmets, cycle lanes, and cyclists. Simpson, A.H.R.W.; Unwin, P.S.; Nelson, I.W. // British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition);4/23/1988, Vol. 296 Issue 6630, p1161 

    Presents results of a study on the incidence of head injuries by the Accident Service in Great Britain. Effects of wearing helmets and separate cycle lanes on the incidence of injuries; Conditions for the reduction of head injuries by cyclists; Need of developing special cycle routes in the...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics