A Canadian Medical Association Journal Editorial

Nova Scotia passed legislation on Dec. 15, 2011, requiring all skiers and snowboarders — children and adults — to wear a helmet. This likely constitutes the world’s toughest such rules and is laudable from a public health perspective, but there’s just one problem. How good are the helmets? The fact is that, to protect their noggins, Canadian skiers and snowboarders might as well be using a toque as some of the helmets being sold. That’s according to an expert at the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).1 The CSA consulted with helmet manufacturers, resort owners, skiing groups and other stakeholders to come up with higher standards for made-in-Canada ski and snowboard helmets. Those standards were released back in 2009 but have yet to be met by any manufacturer. Why not is anyone’s guess. It could be that Canada’s relatively small market is deterring those who have to adhere to a bottom line. But undoubtedly, the lack of demand for CSA-approved helmets is a factor.

Read the full editorial (pdf)