Children's Hospital Colorado

Do Helmets Actually Protect Young Skiers From Head Injuries?

The Denver Post | December 19, 2016

When preparing for a trip to the mountains, parents may wonder if helmets actually help prevent head injuries on the slopes. But a new study conducted by doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine confirms that helmets are important in lessening the severity of head injuries that kids may suffer while skiing or snowboarding — but only up to a point.

A kid skis down a mountain wearing a helmet.

“Wearing a helmet is not going to prevent fatal injury,” said Dr. Steven Moulton, Burn Center Medical Director and trauma surgeon at Children’s Colorado, who is one of the study’s authors. “But what it is going to do is lower the risk of sustaining a serious injury.”

Helmet wearing leads to less-serious head injury

The research was based on 16 years of data in a trauma registry for 550 kids who visited Children’s Colorado after suffering a head injury while skiing or snowboarding.

See media coverage from the Denver Post about the study, which is scheduled to be published in February in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.