What Are We Waiting For?

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Canadians have the right to know if the ski and snowboard helmets they buy meet recommended safety standards. Unlike hockey helmets that MUST be CSA certified to be sold in Canada, ski and snowboard helmets are not regulated. Why is there a discrepancy in the legislation affecting the safety helmets of these sports? "Canadian parents believe that when they go out and buy a helmet for their kids, it meets some type of crash-test standard and that’s not the case” said Richard Kinar, a spokesperson for the Brain Injury Association of Canada. "It’s also been suggested some of the helmets are actually dumped in Canada if they don’t meet international standards because we have no market protection for helmets." "On paper, the standard (for safety helmet safety) has been written. (But) helmet manufacturers refuse to meet the new standard unless they’re mandated to do so by the federal government," Kinar said. It’s not as if the Federal Government is unaware of the issue. Liberal MP Hedy Fry, a Vancouver physician, brought forward a private member’s bill that would broaden CSA approval requirements to the ski hills headgear (currently Bill C412 only applies to hockey helmets). But the federal government is reluctant to impose any type of standard on the ski industry. “The Brain Injury Association of Canada says head injuries are a leading killer and disabler of children, and preventable injuries cost $14.7 billion every year.” Given these shocking statistics why is the federal government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper dragging its heals on changes to Bill C412? Hedy Fry says the federal Tories are bowing to lobbying from helmet manufacturers. Please note: I don’t want to give the impression ALL ski and snowboard safety helmets are sub-standard. I am simply pushing for the certification of all sport safety helmets – if the helmet doesn’t meet safety standards, they shouldn’t be sold! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject of helmet safety standards. Should the government expand the current legislation (Bill C412) to include certification of ALL sport helmets?

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  • High risk sports are high risk sports! You can hit your head with the same damaging impact in snow boarding as you can in hockey. So why the double standard? I agree 100% that ALL helmets should be CSA approved.

    Kathryn Shanley on
  • Dear Pam: do you think I should start a petition going of parents who want to see the legislation passed immediately?

    Karyn Climans on
  • Definitely! The sooner the better! The standard should be for the manufacturing/distribution of helmets in Canada period. Helmets for any activity should not be marketed and sold unless they meet a designated safety standard.

    Pam @writewrds on
  • Thanks for commenting Kimberly!

    Karyn Climans on
  • Think that they should amp up certification of helmets. They do for car seats for babies…

    Kimberly on

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