- Has Natasha Richardson’s death made you think about helmets?
So has the death of Natasha Richardson from a fall while learning to ski on a beginner’s slope made you think about getting a helmet for your own snow activities?
Do you agree with the various hand-wringers that have suddenly sprung up and decided that helmets should be compulsory for skiing and snowboarding (despite many of them never having even been to a ski slope)?
Do you, like me, have various relatives telling you that you should really wear a helmet because “Look at the poor Natasha Richardson..”
I was discussing this with a doctor friend of mine and here are a couple of pertinent facts:
• she died from an Epidural Hematoma. This type of injury can be caused by a tearing action when the skull stops suddenly and the brain continues. i.e. you can still sustain it even if you are wearing a helmet.
• the most common way to sustain this injury in sport is by being hit by a ball when playing squash, golf, tennis etc – none of these sports require helmets.
• it could equally happen to someone falling in the street.
All in all I’m sorry she is dead. It is very tragic. But I am more sorry that this means more nanny-staters noseying around winter sports and more people saying “Oh isn’t awful all these extreme sports? I don’t know why they don’t just stay at home and have a nice cup of tea where it’s safe.”
(Note: I am not trying to incite yet-another-helmet-debate. I’m purely discussing this incident and the way it has been jumped on by a media who are keen to marginalise any sport that isn’t football)Posted 9 years agoMunqe-chickMember
I have always worn a helmet when snowboarding since year 1 when I got some quite nasty concussion. Plus it gives you some extra warmth especially when sitting on the chair lifts. Think about it sensibly though skiiers/boarders are often riding the same slopes that we ride in the summer on MTB’s, doing similar jumps and going at similar speeds, but you wouldn’t think twice about going out without a helmet on your MTB!
I do agree though too much molly coddling, let us all make our own decisions.Posted 9 years agojohniMember
I do already. Having been a ski patroller and cleaned up when several “good skiers/boarders” collide with trees, other skiers/boarders etc. It was an easy choice.
One of my mates knocked himself unconscious boarding in Italy after catching a toeside edge and headbutting hard snow. He stopped breathing and frightened the sh1t out of me and my mate. He however knew nothing about it! He does now insist on wearing a helmet.
It is down to each person to decide, but I do. My reasoning is that I ski fast and in control, but some people don’t. Mountains and other people are unpredictable and wearing a helmet reduces risk. (Nothing removes it altogether.) Also I find my helmet warmer and less itchy than a hat/no hat.Posted 9 years agoTracker1972Member
No,<minor rant> it has made me wonder what is so special about her that we all need to hear about her death on a holiday she chose rather than the silent majority who die in horrible circumstances but failed to become famous.
(I suppose it is a rhetorical question, she was famous, thats why we hear about it, still bugs me though).</minor rant>Posted 9 years agobluebirdMember
I’ve worn a helmet snowboarding for about 6 seasons now. They are very common in North America. Quite a few resorts insist on them if you ride the big terrain parks. I’m not convinced it will save me in the event of a very serious crash, and there’s a lot of research to support that opinion. Even so I’d feel a proper arse if I crashed without it and spent the second half of my life messed up because of it.Posted 9 years agoaracerSubscriber
Note: I am not trying to incite yet-another-helmet-debate. I’m purely discussing this incident and the way it has been jumped on by a media who are keen to marginalise any sport that isn’t football
Good luck with that one!
the most common way to sustain this injury in sport is by being hit by a ball when playing squash, golf, tennis etc – none of these sports require helmets.
Maybe they should?Posted 9 years agojojoA1Member
I think the fascination with this case is that it was a seemingly innoccuous accident. I think that had she sustained visibly horrific injuries at the time there would be far less discussion.
It’s, as TJ always says about helmets, it’s a risk/choice situation. I don’t wear a helmet skiing as I don’t perceive the risk is as significant as that when riding my bike, when I choose to wear one every ride.Posted 9 years agomolgripsSubscriber
Press in knee-jerk reaction shocker!
I do agree though too much molly coddling, let us all make our own decisions.
Yeah but the problem is people make bad ones. There are speed limits to (vainly) try and stop people driving too fast. You might say if a 17 year old wraps his Corsa around a tree and dies, then that’s his problem. Except it’s not – that’s his family’s problem too. Some people need to be stopped from doing things that they’d otherwise like to do because of the problems it would cause other people if they died. How many 50 year olds are there in hospitals saying ‘You know, I’m so glad I took up smoking when I was 15 and smoked myself into lung cancer. I get to die early!’ I bet they and their families wish someone’d mollycoddled them.Posted 9 years ago
Yeah but the problem is people make bad ones.
Agreed, but part of the reason that people make bad decisions is that they are fed bad and disproportionate information.
This incident is a classic example: the press have been all over it, publicly hand-wringing about how how awfully dangerous skiing is. But when was the last time that the quarter of a million people injured on UK roads each year got a headline?Posted 9 years agoTrimixMember
There are too many people on the planet – personal safety should be down to your own judgement provided you are educated enough to make a rational decision.
Also, wearing helmets is quite fasionable now – wasnt always the case. That may change over time. Our kids may see us as boring safety freaks wearing helmets all the time.Posted 9 years agocoffeekingMember
A lot of people here are mentionin the fact that they/someone got concussion from a fall- your helmet will make very little difference to concussion, it will really only save you from the worst of the worst and flesh/bone breaking. I’m all for helmets and will always wear one on the bike/slope whether its compulsory or not, but I dont think it should be compulsory.Posted 9 years agomolgripsSubscriber
There are too many people on the planet
That argument is pretty pointless. In real terms, people dying or being maimed is bad. If you really believe that people need to die and are happy to preach that, then you are morally obliged to volunteer yourself or your family first to be sacrificed.Posted 9 years agomastiles_fanylionMember
The way I see it is that a helmet cannot guarantee stopping any given injury, but it does give the wearer more chance of escaping the injury.
I ALWAYS ride with a helmet and on my last boarding holiday I bought one as it seemed the sensible thing to do. It saved me from a couple of potentially painful knocks but I don’t think it has saved my life yet. My bike helmet almost certainly has, after taking a rock full on right at the front, just above my eyes and cracking it clean in two – and that was on a simple section I had ridden a hundred times before but it caught me out on that one occassion).Posted 9 years agoportercloughMember
There seem to be more helmets every year (in France at least), bought my lad one last time. If boarding I would definitely consider it, it seems really easy to catch the heelside edge and catapult yourself onto the back of your head. They seem quite cool now anyway ‘cos all the narly off piste or terrain park types all wear them, so the kids want them too.
Dunno if making beginner skiers wear one on the nursery slopes would do much, as you say in Natasha Richardson’s case it would seem not. But kids have to have them now in ski school most places, so it won’t be long before ski schools insist on adults wearing them as well, even if it is only to avoid any legal issues.Posted 9 years agoBearBackMember
IIRC french ski schools won’t accept kids without them.
Kids should absolutely be made to wear helmets in ski school and IMO it should be a requirement of mountain access for kids.
I choose to wear a helmet as whilst there is a great deal of difference between the inherent risk that mountain biking and skiing have.. tree’s still really hurt when you ski into them.
I ski in a helmet, i ride in a helmet.
My business partner came off the side of a cat track (racing mates) and struck a tree 20 ft below the level of the piste… broke 2 vertibrae, 2 ribs, shoulder blade, spent 2 weeks in hospital. He now works as full time ski patrol, clearing up those same messes he was in a few years ago… bizarrely though, he still doesn’t ski in a helmet?!
I do think we’ll see helmets being a requirement at North American ski resorts at some point soon. It is a requirement at every lift assisted bike park after all.Posted 9 years agoMrSalmonMember
This incident is a classic example: the press have been all over it, publicly hand-wringing about how how awfully dangerous skiing is. But when was the last time that the quarter of a million people injured on UK roads each year got a headline?
Exactly, it’s interesting the way the media report on things involving risk. It’s awful for the families of people that do get hurt, but it seems like a disproportionate response given the numbers involved. As GrahamS said it’s because it’s not normalised in the way that other things that as just as dangerous (if not more so) are.Posted 9 years agoRudeBoyMember
I’ve only ever been cross-country skiing, and woon’t imagine that involves more risk than say running, buy I think I’d wear one for doing faster downhilly stuff. Quite a few people die from head injuries whilst skiing; hidden rocks, trees, etc pose risks.
The lady’s death is sad, for her family and loved ones. But the story of her death hazzunt made me think about wearing a helmet if I ever go downhill skiing; this thread has!
This person is wearing a helmet. I’d consider that a sensible decision.
Think of all the burns caused by pourover scalds/hot kettles/ lacerations caused by broken china.
I’m considering getting some of these, to prevent any future ‘Avocado Incidents‘…
Posted 9 years agoTracker1972Member
Graham_M- I have noticed the coverage Jade has been receiving yes. That does not make me much happier with the world either. Been trying to refrain from a full blown rant, each to their own, I get a bit obsessed with my own stuff from time to time but that is obviously different, to me 🙂Posted 9 years agoTrustyrustyMember
I always wear a lid on my bike, but I only started because I started racing. I still feel that it is down to the individual and the “less compensation for non-helmet wearing riders” will probably be a large step towards a new law.
When I learned to snowboard at Tamworth (a beautiful alpine resort, just of the A5 😉 ) It was compulsory to wear a helmet for the lessons, but then once you were “competent” 3-to-5 hrs later you didn’t have to, and after a few days in the Austrian Alps, I was crashing my way down black runs with only a wooly hat as protection. I’d love to go boarding again, and I would definitely use a helmet this time.
My change of mind is more driven by my biking/helmet experiences than what is ultimately an incredibly unfortunate series of events, and it is so much easier to track back from a tragedy to the point of no return than to make the correct judgement call every time. If anyone knows the secret to this, please let me know!Posted 9 years agoSpongebobMember
Been wearing one for a few years for skiing now since an out of control novice forced me onto a slab of ice. I made the fatal mistake of leaning back and went down hard (well I was really doing my best to avoid taking this girl out and lost concentration). I tried to stop the inevitable head impact, but just strained my neck muscles. I was genuinely seeing stars and developed a headache. That was enough warning for me!
Most boarders wear them as they can take a whack on the back of the head more easily than a skier.Posted 9 years ago
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