Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- As people hit the ski slopes, there is a renewed push for safety. Doctors are urging people to wear helmets.
A few years ago, Drew Stephens hit his head while doing a trick on his snowboard. He was wearing a helmet and doctors say that may have saved his life.
“He got a small concussion, instead of major brain surgery because he was wearing a helmet,” said Upstate University Hospital’s Trauma Program Manager Maryann Fields.
The Emergency Room at Upstate treats upwards of 400 patients a year for skiing and snowboarding accidents.
Doctors say some people are wearing a helmet, but most are not. They also say many of the injuries can be downgraded or even prevented if the person wears head protection. And experts say bicycle helmets don't offer the same protection as ones designed for snow sports.
“You really need a helmet that is designed to protect low, in the back of the head. It's a different helmet, different falling, different type of protection that you need,” Fields said.
When you are looking for a skiing or snowboarding helmet, make sure it's labeled for snow sports and that it's certified.