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Helmets and Skiing/Snowboarding

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Can you absolutely, positively say that no one will ski slightly off-piste and straight into the trees, which happen to line the slopes? My husband got his first concussion that way in college while skiing in VA.


My son fell backwards onto a concrete floor in our own house and concussed himself.


Wear the ski helmets.

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Good question. There is nothing in the Guide to Safe Scouting that specifically requires helmets for horseback riding.


Horsemanship Activities


Horsemanship activities in Scouting include merit badge activities, arena rides, multi-day trips (including treks and cavalcades), and Cub Scouting familiarization rides.


Each sponsoring council should take care to design age- and activity-appropriate procedures and guidelines for each particular equine activity. It is not possible or appropriate to dictate each aspect of every program.


Requirements must also be met if the horseback riding program is provided by or at an off-site facility. The council must enter a contractual agreement as outlined in the resident camp standards.


Horseback riding activities are limited to Wolf Cub Scouts and older members.




FWIW there is a picture of a helmet (among other things) on the cover of the Horsemanship merit badge book.




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Eagle92, I almost pro-actively mentioned insurance in my prior post on this thread, just to head off the discussion. I was actually surprised the topic hadn't already come up. If you search for 'insurance' on the forum, you'll find many long discussions of the topic.


shortridge, I don't believe that's how insurance works. Can you point to any reliable document that says it does work that way? I've looked at some policies, and they generally exclude 1) intentional and criminal acts, and 2) some fairly specific other causes.


In addition to the insurance policies, there is also a federal law that protects volunteers from being sued.

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Funny we use canoe association and other industry guide groups to help define our program. I am sure the US Ski association recommends helmets for all. Besides Scouting is in the business of teaching the proper techniques for camping, canoeing, swimming, and skiing. Not the goofy way we learned to ski in the 1980's from our buddies.


Anyway. One of my scouts while snowboarding on the infamous skid wall fell and racked his head. His bell was rung so bad we had to pull him off the slope with about two or more hours of open skiing left. All the adults watched him for signs of goofiness. (not easy to detect in a 13 year old boy). He seemed fine. Next day he decides to sleep in and miss breakfast. OK your choice! His dad calls me on the phone very concerned because he spoke to his boy and learned that he rang his head yesterday and is now lethargic. We both knew that his boy is a poor riser in the morning but still the message was clear. "Are you doing all you can to keep my kid safe?" Was I? It was an uncomfortable call.


By 11:00 AM he was on the slopes and doing fine.


Can you imagine if he had not had a helmet on, another adult and I would have spent the evening at the hospital and no doubt they would have kept him overnight for observations. By the way he reacted from the fall with a helmet on he would have likely given himself a concussion. That would have been an even worse call to make.


Our Troop will wear helmets when we ski.





(This message has been edited by Mafaking)

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Guess I'm a fuddy duddy because I wear helmets for caving, climbing, whitewater, cycling, and arborial works.

I just figure my who "I am" is more important then who "will I be" with a traumatic head injury.

Just got no desire to become the vegetable of the month. Besides which is the least cool...wearing a helmet, or drooling with a feeding tube in your nose, and wearing diapers...


Wear the helmets, then take a NOL's course in Backcountry Risk Management...

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Orthopaedic surgeons on helmet use:



Irish sport of "hurling" now requires helmets: http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/blog/2010/01/06/hurlers-required-to-wear-helmets-to-help-prevent-brain-injuries/


On the other hand, statistics tend to show that cycling is safer than walking. Do we wear walking helmets?



Anyone seen "Sleeper" lately?

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SSScout - That link is not to any statistics about cycling and helmets. It's to a letter to the Financial Times of London, plus a blog of responses. The letter refers to an alleged unpublished report, but doesn't publish it. We don't see the statistics. Just the conclusions the writer claims he can draw from it. Worth a read, but not conclusive.


The rest of the blog contains many posts defending helmets. Also worth a read.

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I would invite the writer of that opinion piece on cycling helmets to cycle Tioga, or Wolf Creek Pass. Sorry, but the UK lacks the high altitude passes we have in this country that we cyclist have to deal with on trans Americas. No one size fits all when it comes to geography or terrain.

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So the logic is that pedestrians and automobile drivers do not wear helmets and yet there are more casualties from those activities than from cycling, hence cycling is safer? Expanding on this: pedestrians do not wear parachutes, drivers do not wear parachutes; since far more pedestrians and auto drivers suffer fatal accidents then why should skydivers wear parachutes?


It's apples and oranges or maybe smashed pumpkins.





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I wonder if this boy was wearing a helmet....




A 12-year-old boy from Pottstown died while sled riding at Ski Denton in Ulysses Township.


State police say the boy, whose name they didn't release, was on a Boy Scout trip and was sled riding on the slopes at around 11 o'clock last night. The boy was riding on a saucer style sled when he hit a ski lift tower, causing severe trauma to the back of his head.


The boy was taken to Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, where Potter County Coroner Kevin Dusenbury pronounced him dead at 1:07 this morning.





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Ski trip this past weekend was a tough sell to our youth since the new reg was in place and it added $5 to the fee. (That was a group rate that I negotiated with the resort CEO three months ago, letting him know that BSA Units should be requesting helmets if they don't have them.) Low #'s were on the sign-up list until the very last minute. Then they all realized that nobody else was planning a trip for them, and kids started coming out of the woodwork.


It was rainy, so the helmets came in handy. (As did the waterproof gear that the kids used to backpacking had acumulated.) One snowboarder in the group did get his "bell rung" lightly, and now he's my most vocal proponent of helmets. I figure that's one less ER visit and CT scan that YOU ALL don't have to pay.


My only regret is that my wide brim leather hat no longer fits. But, personally, I think I was able to work on my technique with a little more confidence (and less drag than the hat).


Bottom line: Gear up and ski, or naked noggin and build snowmen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Waiver? Optional helmet? Really?


I will definitely be watching my SM's and ASM's a lot closer now...to heck with the Winter Camping and Rafting trip now...


A standard bike helmet is not appropriate safety gear for snowboarding in particular, insufficient protection of the upper vertebrae from a backward fall, the most common fall in snowboarding....use a skateboarding-style helmet instead.


Wristguards a should also be considered a must for snowboarding....nothing quite as fun as double wrist fractures for growth plate fractures to ruin your next 3-4 months.


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