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Ski Helmet Standards

When purchasing a helmet, read the accompanying literature to see if the helmet meets one of the three following helmet standards:

The Common European Norm (CEN) is a large European standard organization that develops hundreds of standards for various products used by the European Union. The CEN 1077 standard is the European ski helmet standard; it was issued in 1996. This European ski helmet standard was almost identical to a pre-existing ski helmet standard used in the 1980s. Compared with the other ski helmet standards, the CEN standard is the least demanding in impact management requirements.

The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), a not-for-profit organization that provides a global forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services, adopted a United States' recreational snowsports helmet F2040 standard in May 2000; it has become the standard to which helmets should be manufactured in the United States. Ski and Snowboard helmets manufactured in the United States should conform to the ASTM snowsports helmet standard. For more information about ASTM, log on to www.astm.org.

Lastly, the Snell Memorial Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to research, education, testing and development of helmet safety standards, develops helmet standards and operates test labs for testing and certification. Since its founding in 1957, Snell has been a leader in helmet safety in the United States and around the world. (For more information, log on to www.smf.org). The Snell RS-98 standard is the most stringent ski helmet standard in the world.

Note: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) endorsed the use of snowsports helmets in January of 1999. (For the document, go to www.cpsc.gov, under library/FOIA, click on consumer-related statistics, then click on skiing helmets, at bottom). The CPSC noted that while the then proposed ASTM standard (the ASTM Standard wasn't adopted until May 2000) and the CEN standard may differ in test parameters, a helmet that meets either of the standards "will provide adequate protection to reduce the risk of head injury." The Snell standard, presumably, would be considered adequate as well since it's the most stringent of the three standards.

Information courtesy of LidsonKids.org.