November 2009

Safe Kids Canada launches charter on helmet safety

Canadians are invited to sign on to the Vancouver Charter on Skiing Safety to show their support for the use of helmets during winter ski sports. Safe Kids Canada launched the charter on Nov. 20 at a winter helmet safety forum to encourage the use of helmets while skiing and snowboarding. British Columbia is the first province to officially endorse the charter, created in the context of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Canadians can read the Charter and show their support at www.safekidscanada.ca. The aim of the Charter is to promote a safe, healthy and active sporting and recreational culture, and to make its principles visible to the public, citizens and institutions. Safe Kids notes that an international review, including Canada, concluded that head injuries are the most common cause of death among skiers and snowboarders. In Canada, it is estimated that 87.5% of skiing and snowboarding deaths have been caused by a head injury. Traumatic brain injury has been reported to account for 50 to 88% of all fatalities at ski resorts and 67% of all skier deaths in children. Winter snow helmets are effective at preventing head injuries. Estimates suggest that nearly 60% of skiing and snowboarding head injuries could be prevented with helmets.

The Vancouver Charter on Skiing Safety is the successor to the Turin Charter on Skiing Safety, which was originally created during the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games.

Updated November 20, 2009