There has been a new law introduced to Austria this week, stating that all kids under the age of 14 are required to wear a skiing helmet when on the ski slopes. There are obvious dangers while skiing, and head injuries are one of the most common. It is predicted that in Austria alone there will be over 5,000 reported serious head injuries this year alone from skiing. So far this year 17 people have died on the slopes in Austria, and one of the reasons cited is in the increased speed of skiers. Over the years ski equipment has improved, for example the migration from straight skis to carving skis, and now the average speed of skiers has increased.
One high profile case this year involved a German politician Dieter Althaus who was involved in a collision on the slopes resulted which in the death of Beata Christandl. Althaus remains in coma, and it is thought that his helmet saved his life. He suffered a fractured skull. Mrs Christandl who was not wearing a helmet suffered major head trauma when the two skiers collided.
In Switzerland alone there is an estimated 150 cases per day of head injuries and concussions.
At most resorts you will be able to rent a helmet for €20 – €30 a week, and some rental companies give free rental for children’s helmets. You can also purchase skiing helmets for between €70 – €120.
Read our discussion on skiing helmets for more on this topic.