Play it safe this winter!

With the snow comes outdoor activities like sled riding, skiing, snowboarding and ice skating. Thousands of people suffer injuries during these activities that may be prevented. Helmets are essential for many outdoor winter activities. The risk of head injury is too great to leave the helmet in a closet at home. Helmets prevent or reduce the effects of 53 percent of the head injuries suffered while skiing or snowboarding.

Use appropriate and properly-fitted sports gear to prevent or reduce the severity of injuries. For winter sports, this gear may include shin guards, mouth guards and especially helmets when they’re skiing, snowboarding or playing ice hockey. Based upon recommendations made by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), it is recommended to use either a skate style helmet approved to American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM, F1492 or a ski/snowboard helmet approved to either ASTM F2040 or EN1077. While we are unaware of any sledding specific helmets, any of these helmets or a CPSC bicycle helmet would be better than no helmet in many sledding accidents.


Parents should wear helmets too! Remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you.

Action Steps You Can Take

  • Always wear sport-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in winter sports.
  • Kids should always wear helmets when they ski, sled, snowboard and play ice hockey. There are different helmets for different activities.
  • Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes.
  • Make sure that long scarves are tucked in so they don’t get entangled in lifts, ski poles or other equipment.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink fluids before, during and after winter play.
  • Kids — or caregivers — who become distracted or irritable, or begin to hyperventilate, may be suffering from hypothermia or altitude sickness, or they may be too tired to participate safely in winter sports. They need to go indoors to warm up and rest.
  • Children under 6 should not ride a snowmobile, and nobody under 16 should drive one.
  • All snowmobile drivers and passengers should wear helmets designed for high-speed motor sports. A bike helmet isn’t sufficient.

You can download and print this Outdoor Winter Sports Safety flyer