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Snow Sports:
"Put a Helmet on Your Children"

Summary: Advice on ski helmets for kids from the French equivalent of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. They note that some headband-style ski headgear for kids does not offer good protection. We have the original French version here


La Letter de la Commission de la Sécurité des Consommateurs
Number 28/October 1998.
Consumer Safety Commission, Paris, France.

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The helmet is an essential protection measure. To choose and use it better, the CSC has launched a national campaign, with TV spots, pamphlets and posters. It also highlights the responsibilities of renters and sellers.

Caution! There exists on the market several types of helmet that don't all offer the same protection. Thus the simple head protection made up of several adjustable elements around the head of the child really only protects the skin. This product therefore does not cover the grave risks that a skier is exposed to. For skiers, this protection is an illusion, and use of those helmets should be banned.

CSC launched on October 21, 1998, an injury prevention campaign to promote helmets for children on ski slopes. Look for a helmet carrying a reference to the standard specification NF EN 1077 for alpine skiers recommends a pamphlet distributed in winter sports resorts, some regional health insurance offices and sporting goods stores. The Commission's partners (notably the DGCCRF, the Association of Mountain Medical Doctors and the National System for Mountain Safety) are distributing the message as well, in concert with the 5,000 pamphlets and more than 10,000 posters recommending that children wear helmets when participating in snow sports. Titled Put a Helmet on Your Children, this four page folder permits, using the terms of CSC, the choice of an appropriate helmet, taking into account the head shape and conduct of each child, his good usage and his good maintenance, therefore his longevity, in all safety. The Commission draws parents' attention particularly to the notice that should accompany each helmet (name and address of the manufacturer, size, weight, maintenance instructions, etc.) that is required of any helmet carrying the CE (European Standard) mark.

CSC emphasizes that this essential protective equipment should be adjusted so that it will not slip during head movements. The size of the helmet and the straps should be checked at purchase time, knowing that the free part of the strap after the closure of the buckle should be more than 4 centimeters (1.6 inches).

The brochure also points out the responsibility of renters and sellers. The professional who does not provide information on the limits of protection of the helmets he sells risks, in case of an accident, legal consequences for fraud regarding the essential qualities and means of utilization, with a view to placing the wearer in danger. In addition the civil responsibilities of manufacturing defective merchandise may be cited. (law Number 98-389 of May 19, 1998).


Consumer Safety Commission
Commission de la Sécurité des Consommateurs
59, bd Vincent-Auriol, télédoc 021,
75703 Paris cedex 13.

Association of Mountain Doctors
Association Médecins de montagne Le Pas du Lac
74110 Avoriaz

National System for Mountain Safety Observation
Système national d'observation de la sécurité en montagne
35, route du Bouchet
Boite Postale 24
74400 Chamonix