Concussion Among Youth Skiers and Snowboarders: A Review of the National Trauma Data Bank From 2009 to 2010

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 Jan;32(1):9-13. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000364.


Objective: There are limited data regarding concussion among youth skiers and snowboarders. The objective of this study was to examine the frequency of concussion among helmeted and unhelmeted youth skiers and snowboarders presenting to trauma centers.

Methods: Subjects 18 years or younger with a ski- or snowboard-related injury were studied using data from the National Trauma Data Bank from 2009 to 2010. We further selected those with head/neck injuries and stratified based on helmet status. Concussive injuries were identified from International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision codes. Severity analysis was based on the Glasgow Coma Scale and Injury Severity Score.

Results: A total of 1001 subjects met inclusion criteria with 678 subjects having documented helmet status. Subjects 12 years or younger were more likely to use helmets compared to 13-18 year-olds (odds ratio, 2.21; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.52-3.21). Skiers were more likely to use helmets compared to snowboarders (odds ratios, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.16-2.19). Snowboarders had a greater likelihood of concussion (estimated-β, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.48-2.85) after adjusting for helmet status and age. There was no significant difference in the frequency of concussion among helmeted compared to unhelmeted subjects. Imputing missing values for helmets status had no effect on outcome for concussion. We found no difference in injury severity among helmeted compared to unhelmeted subjects.

Conclusions: Among youth skiers and snowboarders who present to trauma centers with a head injury, the likelihood of that injury involving a concussion was not associated with helmet use.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology*
  • Brain Concussion / prevention & control
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neck Injuries / epidemiology
  • Neck Injuries / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skiing / injuries*
  • Skiing / statistics & numerical data
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data