Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Children on Ski Slopes

January 29, 2018

Measure Requires Helmets for Skiers and Snowboarders Under 14 Years Old

The New York State Senate today passed a bill to help prevent children from dangerous head injuries while participating in winter sports. The legislation (S1376), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), requires skiers and snowboarders under 14 years of age to wear a protective helmet while riding the slopes at ski areas in New York.

Senator Little said, “Requiring kids to wear a helmet is a reasonable and smart approach to keeping them safe.  As we’ve seen more and more studies on concussions, I am hopeful this will be the year this common-sense bill passes both houses of the Legislature and gets signed into law.”

According to a recent scientific paper published by ATSM International, researchers concluded that potentially serious head injuries (PSHI) dropped as ski helmet usage increased over a period of time from 1995-2012. Furthermore, increased helmet usage has proven to reduce all head injuries, and especially PSHI, according to the National Ski Areas Association.

Similar to the state’s bicycle helmet law, this measure would help decrease the number of head injuries suffered by children while skiing or snowboarding in New York. Ski areas – which have expressed support for the legislation - would post signs at their information boards and on-site locations where lift tickets are sold notifying guests of the helmet requirements as well as the availability of helmets for rental or purchase. Lift tickets would also include language about the law. 

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Senators Involved