Healthy Living in the North

It’s a no brainer!

Skier sliding on a rail.

No-one looks uncool wearing a helmet and doing a rail slide… Gear up!

When I was a teenager I used to think that wearing a helmet was pretty much the dorkiest thing that I could possibly be seen in; was I ever wrong. One day I was snowboarding at Powder King and I was approaching a flat part of the hill. In order to make it to the lift, I had to build up my speed and before I knew it, I had tumbled head over heels about 6 times. My whole body was stiff and I was black and blue all over, but thankfully I was wearing a helmet. This got me thinking, “Why is it so dorky to protect myself?”

As Canadians we don’t let much hold us back. We spend time outside in all 4 seasons and have fun doing it but we need to keep safety in the sport to keep it fun. Did you know that head and spinal cord injuries are increasing? The majority of head injuries are concussions. Traumatic brain injuries account for 50-88 per cent of deaths for both skiers and snowboarders (Parachute Canada). Simply wearing the proper safety equipment, including a helmet, can prevent many of these fatalities. In fact, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 35% while skiing and snowboarding.

Head injuries often go unnoticed since there is often no visible evidence and many people don’t notice obvious symptoms. Indications of head injuries may not be open wounds or bruises; however, a possible head injury can occur when either the head is bumped or jolted directly (blow to the head) or indirectly (blow to the body causing the head to be jolted or whipped) in a way that causes the brain to bounce around in the skull.

The British Columbia Injury Research and Prevention Unit has created the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) for coaches, parents and players to learn more about concussion awareness. CATT was developed to raise awareness including causes, signs, and how to care for someone who is suffering from a concussion. If you could prevent injury by taking a simple step-by-step guide about concussion awareness, why wouldn’t you? Be the leader and educate yourself so you can educate others. You could save a life. You can check out the training tool at CATT online.

Next time you’re out enjoying your winter activities, think to yourself, “What’s more important, how I look? Or whether or not I am safe?” Concussions matter, wear a helmet & gear up for winter!

You could win a new ski/winter sport helmet! Enter the Gear Up for Winter contest!

Check out the awesome YouTube video we made!

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Kimberlee Hrabinsky

About Kimberlee Hrabinsky

Originally from Prince George, Kimberlee has returned to her hometown via stops in North Battleford, Calgary, Dawson Creek and Quesnel to attend the Nursing program at UNBC. Outside of school and practicum work, Kimberlee enjoys going to the lake, taking pictures, camping, and being outdoors.