Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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URMC Encourages Helmet Safety at Bristol Mountain

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Rochester: URMC Encourages Helmet Safety at Bristol Mountain
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The clear skies and cool temps made it a perfect day to hit the ski slopes. Doctors with the University of Rochester Medical Center's Kessler Trauma Center joined hundreds at Bristol Mountain Saturday.

Presidents Day weekend brought out hundreds of families.

"There's so many people on the mountain. So many things to happen. That it's always good to be safe whenever you're out there," said Patrick McGinnity of Hilton.

That's why the first order of business for McGinnity and his daughter, before hitting the ski slopes, was to get fitted for a proper helmet. His daughter Anna Belle was one of several skiers who got fitted for a new helmet by medical personnel with the University of Rochester Medical Center's trauma center.

"If the kids take a ski lesson, if they talk to a trauma nurse about head injuries and prevention and if there's a need for a helmet we will give them a helmet," said Injury Prevention Outreach Coordinator Ray McLean.

"You want your kids to enjoy and be safe on the mountain, so it's a really good thing," said Melissa Enders of Farmington.

According to McLean, the goal is to reduce the number of head injuries as a result of winter sports.

"There's a lot of concussions out there that do not get diagnosed," said McLean. "Kids can go home. They don't know about it. It's later in their teens that they realize there's a problem and we're trying to reduce that."

McLean says research has shown wearing a helmet on the mountain can reduce concussion by 70 to 80 percent. For most of these skiers, wearing a helmet is a priority considering the cost. Still experts suggest checking helmets before and after the ski season. And as they say: "one crash, it's trash."

"It's an expensive sport and having the helmet is another expense, but having as an option for the kids? Absolutely," said McGinnity.

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