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Michael Schumacher "Gravely injured" in Meribel

 Poster: A snowHead
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@David Goldsmith,

Instructors falling over? Remarkably frequently.

And with a little conscious commitment, that reassuringly expensive level of stability and control can easily be achieved just with a lot of time on skis.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ajpaul wrote:
Jesus wept, does every thread on here have to turn into a personal row between DG and Gerry?


All I said was this:

Quote:
Essentially, Goldsmith dismisses the vast majority of people as idiots.


Which was no topic. According to Goldsmith the majority of people take more risks while wearing a helmet. He has no proof and is completely wrong, imo.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
under a new name wrote:
@David Goldsmith,

Instructors falling over? Remarkably frequently.


Yep, they do fall. During a Ski Club holiday I was on last December, out of 100 members and 14 guides and instructors, the only injuries were to two of the instructors. None of the pros had helmets while 60% of the members did.
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SnoodyMcFlude wrote:
David Goldsmith wrote:
So ... the hills are alive with helmet-wearers who are convinced that their helmets have no subconscious effect on their skiing, in terms of risk-taking.

The head injury data suggests otherwise.


I've only ever skied whilst wearing a helmet, so my subconscious has no awareness of the risk being any less if it's got a helmet on.



Completely agree, and this is the bit that DG doesn't get! Maybe if I hadn't worn a helmet for years, then suddenly started wearing one then I might feel over confident and go a little faster (I don't actually buy this, but for the sake of argument!) but that isn't an argument against helmets, it's actually an argument for all new skiers to wear helmets from day 1!
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All I can say is that my 78 year old grandfather wore a helmet for the first time last year.

Skiing down to a ski lift he lost concentration and fell at fairly low speed and broke a rib. He also lost a chunk out of his helmet but was fine. Other than being a bit grumbly in the car on the way home whenever we went over a bump.

If he hadn't have been wearing his helmet he would have had a nasty bump to his head. We are both sold on them now.
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emwmarine wrote:
All I can say is that my 78 year old grandfather wore a helmet for the first time last year.

Skiing down to a ski lift he lost concentration and fell at fairly low speed and broke a rib. He also lost a chunk out of his helmet but was fine. Other than being a bit grumbly in the car on the way home whenever we went over a bump.

If he hadn't have been wearing his helmet he would have had a nasty bump to his head. We are both sold on them now.


And this is the bit I don't get about peoples argument NOT to wear one.

Common sense says to me that if you hit your head on a rock not wearing one, you'd quite simply have one hell of a headache at best - A headache your not as likely to have if you'd had one on.

There is good reason hard hats are used in construction and helmets are used in motorsport/equestrian sports.

It seems to me, people find any reason not to wear one, stating all things like it 'makes you faster'. Im sorry but I don't buy it. Fine if you don't want to wear one thats your choice, but don't spout utter poo-poo for reasons not to wear one - just be manly enough to say I don't want to and leave it at that - its your head and your choice and thats absolutely fine.
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I wouldn't worry about it. It's not as though anyone pays any attention to the anti helmet propagandists or the evangelical pro helmeters.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I wouldn't worry about it. It's not as though anyone pays any attention to the anti helmet propagandists or the evangelical pro helmeters.


Which is what makes the whole argument so stupid...not that it stops me getting involved Wink
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Not wearing a helmet is simply Darwinism in action.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, @SnoodyMcFlude, @cameronphillips2000, Agree with all 3 of those comments Happy
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If you want to wear a helmet, where one. If you don't, then don't.

ABS/no ABS

Goggles/Glasses

Gloves/Mittens

Lip balm/No lip balm

Life is all about choices/chances
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

Not wearing a helmet is simply Darwinism in action.

No it isn't actually. Survival of the fittest would be best tested if everyone started out without a helmet/seatbelt/ABS/whatever and then see who is still alive and breeding at the end. Giving some a helmet and others not, would result in some of the less fit ruining the gene pool.

I don't wear one - and I don't care if anyone does or doesn't. What I notice from reading through all this and other helmet topics is that all those who say they've smacked their head are all helmet wearing because they say things like "if I hadn't been wearing a helmet etc". Just an observation but does it mean those most likely to be wearing a helmet are also those most likely to need it? Natural selection?
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...or does it mean those that weren't wearing a helmet are now being fed via a tube and when not dining spend all day dribbling and are unable to coordinate their fingers to type?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@mayr, no because you can bet your life that their friends/wife/husband/colleagues/etc would be on posting a grave warning about the perils of not wearing a helmet. I'm happy with my deeply scientific approach - helmet wearers are clearly just more accident prone.
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Not wearing a helmet is simply Darwinism in action.

Actually, if you do understand Darwinism, there're at least 2 ways for Darwinism to work: we humans will split into 2 subspecies:

1. There will be one that will wear a helmet crossing the road and going to the bathroom. They will not need a hard shell skull any more, allowing a bigger brain Toofy Grin

2. Another one that will evolve to have fast regenerating brain cells just like bones and skins. For them, there's no need for helmet. Very Happy
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Here we go here we go here we go! Yay!
I believe that if you hit your head on something hard, then your head is less likely to be injured if you are wearing a helmet and I think it is hard to argue against this.
If you are comfortable with wearing a helmet, then it makes sense to do so.

However

I choose not to wear a helmet because
I really hate wearing hats of any kind when skiing, to the point where, if helmets become compulsory, I stop skiing. I lose a lot of my excess heat through my head and even a well ventilated helmet was like skiing with an oven on my head, leaving me feeling groggy and out of balance

I also had a crash this year on the pbbwuw where I went over the front of the skis, landing on the back of my head and shoulders resulting in a sore neck, back and ribs but no injury to my head. Had I been wearing a helmet, my head would have been bent even further forward by the thickness of the helmet before my shoulders took up the impact.

the helmet debate gets me wound up so much because every time I go skiing, there are lots of helmet zealots that feel that they have to question me on my choice
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

there are lots of helmet zealots that feel that they have to question me on my choice

I get that too and have a lengthy diatribe ready for the ski lift that helps them with heir enquiries. Funnily enough they are the same guys clocking their speed on iphones and trying to better their highest speed all the time.
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Darwin - Survival of the fittest. Humans are physically inept compared to much of the animal kingdom but evolved their brains and hands to become the animal most capable of feeding itself, defending itself and preventing death by accidental causes.

Human starts wearing clothes -less people die of cold
Human starts wearing helmet- less people have bad head injuries. It's not rocket science.

I can see why people don't wear helmets. I'm often tempted to ski without one myself. But there is no argument. Skiing with a helmet is safer. You can choose to or choose not to. I have a wife and two kids who would be quite adversely affected if I was suffer a major head injury so I minimise the risk by skiing with a helmet.
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Quote:

Not wearing a helmet is simply Darwinism in action


I wear a helmet. I like them and I think they make a small but useful contribution to my safety. But anyone who thinks they are so valuable that it is stupid not to wear one is being rather silly IMO. Suspect having a couple of glasses of wine at lunch time is more hazardous than not wearing a helmet! I'm not preaching - I quite often have a drink or two at lunch time.
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Quote:

Human starts wearing helmet- less people have bad head injuries. It's not rocket science.

Please post your published peer reviewed evidence for this. That's what rocket scientists do.

Helmet use has grown exponentially since the 90s. Serious head injury rates have remained the same - some say gone up.
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i wonder if rugby players have such heated helmet debates?
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@dode, first requirement is having a brain to protect.
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Isn't the helmet piece more around i've fallen over and bashed my head, rather than serious head injuries? I would argue that the majority of knocks and bumps don't actually get reported and it's in those not reported areas where i'd expect an improvement in overall 'well being' be it less time with a headache or less lumps / bumps.
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@Pruman, would you accept a Cochrane review of the effectiveness of helmets for bike riders? [subset conclusion from 5 case-control studies]
Primary conclusion was...
Quote:
Helmets provide a 63 to 88% reduction in the risk of head, brain and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists. Helmets provide equal levels of protection for crashes involving motor vehicles (69%) and crashes from all other causes (68%). Injuries to the upper and mid facial areas are reduced 65%.


I think the NYT article and the articles it draws its consensus from highlights some very real issues in snowsports at the moment and raises some interesting points. It's a shame that the figures aren't really explained further, being able to properly dive into the data could reveal some more interesting insights.
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Pruman wrote:
Quote:

Human starts wearing helmet- less people have bad head injuries. It's not rocket science.

Please post your published peer reviewed evidence for this. That's what rocket scientists do.

Helmet use has grown exponentially since the 90s. Serious head injury rates have remained the same - some say gone up.



I published the stats on the thread about helmet use a couple of months ago. The evidence is overwhelming.
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http://www.east.org/education/practice-management-guidelines/safety-helmets,-efficacy-of-in-reduction-of-head-injuries-in-recreational-skiers-and-snowboarders


I think the summary at the end pretty much says it all.
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I think I have resisted the urge to comment in Helmet Threads until now but....

I am old enough to remember the controversy around the introduction of compulsory seatbelt wearing in cars (and no, I am not suggesting ski helmets should be compulsory).

I can well remember some people saying seatbelts were more dangerous because if you drove off the road into water it would hamper you getting out of the car and you would drown, and on that basis they should not be compulsory.

It seems to me there is a lot of similar, daft, arguments around helmets:
They make you ski recklessly. Show me the actual evidence, not the anecdotes.
They inhibit your vision. What? Are you a rabbit with eyes on the sides of your head? Goggles inhibit peripheral vision, not helmets
They inhibit your hearing. I suppose they do a little bit, but so would a hat (or headband...I said I am old enough!)

What they do do is make skiing incrementally safer as evidenced by proper studies like @cameronphillips2000 has linked to.
Incrementally does not mean absolutely.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Thu 14-05-15 10:14; edited 1 time in total
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If people don't wan to ski without helmets that's fine. I did it for many years and can see the attraction. It's a personal choice. But trying to put forwards an argument that helmets offer no reduction in risk is irresponsible really.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
dode wrote:
i wonder if rugby players have such heated helmet debates?


Those heated debates are becoming more and more common

An NRL player died at the weekend after a head clash. Add the that the new concussion rules within league and union, and I think youll slowly see in increase in their use. Certainly in the little and lower league they are very common, and with the club my little lads starting to play for skull caps are mandatory.
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
http://www.east.org/education/practice-management-guidelines/safety-helmets,-efficacy-of-in-reduction-of-head-injuries-in-recreational-skiers-and-snowboarders


I think the summary at the end pretty much says it all.


Yes, it uses the phrase "The use of safety helmets clearly decreases the risk and severity of head injuries as compared to non-helmeted participants in skiing and snowboarding" when it's far from clear when you read all of the data they quote from Japan, Switzerland etc. It's one I hadn't seen before so thanks for posting.
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I don't wear a helmet because statistics show that I am in fact imortal. I've been around for about 20,000 days now and haven't died once Very Happy
I don't wear a cycling helmet either, despite cycle commuting over 100 miles a week.

I fully accept that helmet wearing in both cycling and skiing are likely to reduce ther severity of head injuries on average. On the other hand it's also true that wearing helmets in just about every human activity would have a similar effect. At any moment I might fall and risk a head injury, even as I sit at my desk posting this. Therefore to minimise risk I should be wearing a helmet now.

There seems to be a pattern of helmet adoption across a wide range of human activities over time. In sport it seems that professionals first start wearing helmets, then helmet wearing in perceived as 'cool' because people want to look like the pro's. Eventually helmet wearing in widely adopted and may even pass into law. E.g. motorcycling.

100 years ago hardly anyone wore helmets for anything, even construction workers, miners and cavers didn't bother. Now helmets are used in many, many activities, horse riding, kayaking,cricket etc etc. The social norm is established in one area and the debate moves on. Where next? I'll tell you, kids football. Google 'soccer helmets' to see the debate going on in the USA.

One day we'll all be wearing helmets for everything. I'm particularly looking forward to sex helmets.

So my view is that most skiers wear helmets because it's the new social norm, the safety argument is an after the fact justification.

To show how illogical the safety argument is I spent some time looking up statistics on head injuries. It seems the following groups are most likely to suffer head injuries:-
-The elderly
-Children in playgrounds
-Car drivers

Therefore, to reduce the burden of head injuries to the NHS I suggest that helmet wearing is made compulsory for all the above groups. You know it makes sense. Therre's money to be made in granny helmets
Toofy Grin

So ultimately I risk my health by not wearing a ski helmet purely to make the point that other people don't undertstand risk. There may be a flaw in my logic. Puzzled
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@Spud9, great post! (I wear a helmet, not because I am elderly, but because someone knocked me over and skied into my head a few years ago. It hurt.)
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@Spud9, point re construction workers - the first hard hats were made by construction workers themselves - by dipping caps in pitch and letting them harden - as they were fed up with having red-hot rivets dropped on them by people working above.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
@Spud9, point re construction workers - the first hard hats were made by construction workers themselves - by dipping caps in pitch and letting them harden - as they were fed up with having red-hot rivets dropped on them by people working above.


The problem may have been caused by my grandfather!. My Dad's dad worked in the Tyne ship yards in the 1930's. His job (as my father tells it) was to throw the red hot rivets up from the forge to the workers overhead using a long handled set of pincers. The rivets would then be caught in an iron bucket. Perhaps he wasn't very accurate.
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Quote:

To show how illogical the safety argument is I spent some time looking up statistics on head injuries. It seems the following groups are most likely to suffer head injuries:-
-The elderly
-Children in playgrounds
-Car drivers

It is certainly starting to happen with car drivers. I have noticed a couple of times recently car drivers on the open road wearing crash hats. This is despite ancedotal evidence indicating that wearing any type of hat whilst driving results in a significant reduction in driving ability.
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Hurtle wrote:
@Spud9, great post!

+1

Though it can't be long before someone tells him he's half baked and likely to get mashed.
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@laundryman, Laughing
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Quote:

100 years ago hardly anyone wore helmets for anything

Though practically every man in the country wore a hat almost every moment he spent outdoors. He wouldn't have worn it in church, though, but a woman wouldn't have been acceptable in church without one.

Times change. wink As does life expectancy - under 50 as the 20th century started. Median age of death about 60.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mortality-ageing/mortality-in-england-and-wales/average-life-span/rpt-average-life-span.html?format=print

There is no doubt at all that death and injury from ski accidents is much higher now than it was 100 years ago so clearly helmets are a disaster....
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There is a conflict of evidence between outcomes for individuals involved in an accident, and the outcome for a population of wearing or not wearing helmets
The figures I've seen specifically for road cycling suggest that your chances of suffering a serious head injury decrease significantly if you wear a helmet in any given accident. However where countries have mandated helmet wearing for road cyclists, specifically in Australia the number of cyclists with head injuries remained much the same before and after the legislation.

A number of explanations have be proposed for this.
The number of people cycling dropped after the law was passed.
Cyclists wearing helmets for the first time were more reckless.
Other road users were less cautious around cyclists.
A study in Bristol measured the average distance between cyclists and cars that were overtaking them. The results were interesting. Helmeted males were passed the closest, with most room and therefore safety being given to non helmet wearing females.
So for cycling at least a blond wig might be better than a helmet Puzzled

And the lesson for skiing, Christ knows.
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@jbob, In the Australian case I wonder if the before and after stats are the same because people just ignore the new law.
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