Recent Deaths on Slopes Highlight Need for Helmets

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Two deaths at Tahoe area resorts last week are tragic reminders of the dangers of skiing or snowboarding near trees without wearing a helmet.

One skier was killed in an accident at Sugar Bowl last Thursday.  Another suffered a fatal accident at Northstar on Friday.  Both skiers collided with trees, and neither were wearing helmets, according to reports.

“It’s imperative that folks wear their helmets,” said Sutter Roseville trauma surgeon, Jon Perlstein, in a Wednesday conversation with FOX40.  “When they…crash into something or the mountain, their brain is also going to suddenly stop, and it usually bangs up against the skull.”

Such collisions can lead to fatal bleeding and swelling of the brain, according to Dr. Perlstein.  While a helmet may not prevent a concussion, it can provide enough cushion to save a patient from major skull trauma or death, the doctor explained.

Steve Clark, owner of Clark’s Snow Sports, said helmet sales were strong in his Roseville shop on Wednesday.  And young people are not shy about wearing them.

“Helmets have definitely become cooler,” Clark said.  “They have audio in some of the helmets so you can listen to your music.”

Helmets at Clark’s range in price from about $44 to more than $100.  Either way, it’s a small price to pay for something that can be a live-saver.

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