Background: Helmets may protect the heads of skiers and snowboarders. The prevalence of helmet use by these groups was estimated.
Methods: Helmet use was observed in face-to-face surveys (N = 2,978) on sun protection at 28 ski areas in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and British Columbia (0.7% refusal rate) from January to April 2001.
Results: Helmets were worn by 12.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.0-13.3) of the sample. Use was highest among guests who skied or snowboarded more frequently (fourth quartile vs. first quartile, odds ratio [OR] = 11.998 [95% CI, 6.774-21.251]; third vs. first, OR = 5.556 [95% CI, 3.119-9.896]; second vs. first, OR = 2.186 [95% CI, 1.162-4.112]), were experts (OR = 3.326 [95% CI, 1.297-8.528]), used snowboards (OR = 2.301 [95% CI, 1.731-3.058]), and were more educated (college graduate, OR = 2.167 [95% CI, 1.271-3.695]; some college, OR = 1.969 [95% CI, 1.130-3.431]).
Conclusion: Helmet use was generally low but may be high enough by experts, snowboarders, and in the central Rocky Mountains to produce a norm stimulating further adoption.