Upon reading my Twitter feed yesterday I came across @BraveSkiMom‘s post about Kids Safety and Ski Helmets. It made me think of our family’s own practice. Prior to having children my husband and I never wore ski helmets. The ski season after our first child was born we became avid wearers not only to set an example of proper protection but also because it made sense to us at that point. It made sense to preserve ourselves to be able to continue raising our children. Besides once you wear a helmet you realize there is no better wind barrier and the helmet does an excellent job insulating your head against frigid temperatures.
Having worn helmets their entire skiing lives the act of wearing a helmet is second nature to the kids. They know nothing different. And, thus, the attire of skiing changed in a generation.
That the helmet remains a safety device left up to individual choice in most states is fine by me. That some choose not to wear a helmet is between them and their own luck, I think. I truly understand that “freedom to fly” argument presented by many that hit the slopes.
I bring this up to point out only that the individual choice to use a safety device such as a bar restraint on a ski lift does not exist in many places. Patrons of ski resorts do not have the ability to bring up individual bar restraints to use as they wish as they do helmets. If they did perhaps our family would not have had to experience the tragic accident we did (if an individual lift restraint was even plausible).
Thus, we truly hope that the installation of ski lift restraints becomes a universal industry standard in the near future. A restraint for the individual resort patron to use or not use- this between them and their own luck. This luck is pressed when the patron is a child sitting on a bench that does not properly fit their femurs, etc.
Despite educating our black-diamond skiing daughter on how to safely sit on a ski lift, luck was not on her side when she fell 32 feet in April of 2010. Or perhaps luck was there in that she was wearing a helmet that protected her head and goggles that protected her face. In another post I will talk more of the other lucky coincidences that occurred that day.
Here is the picture of Keely’s helmet and goggles that more than likely saved her from massive head trauma that would have surely resulted from her 32 foot fall. These sit on her trophy shelf now… we bought her new items for the following ski season. You’ll note that the goggle lense popped out- correctly designed to not shatter.