Free helmet giveaway aims to prevent head injuries during winter


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The 46th annual Green Bay YMCA Ski and Sport Sale took place this weekend at the east side location.

The BayCare Clinic Foundation provided about 300 free helmets to keep people safe.

“Obviously helmets are very, very important,” said Dr. Gerald Eckardt, neurosurgeon at BayCare Clinic. “When you’re traveling at high rates of speed, either skiing or snowmobiling, to protect your head.”

Dr. Eckardt has seen firsthand the injuries that can occur with winter sports. He says prevention is worth a pound of cure.

“So anytime you’re traveling at high speeds, there can be a large difference in the types of injuries that we see — from skiing to snowmobiling to concussions, versus even just some lacerations to the scalp from branches — because there are trees here of course,” he said.

David Miller and his family traveled to the sale from Appleton. He said making sure his kids had a good helmet is one of the top items on his list.

“Well, this will be the first year my kids are old enough to ski, so we tried it out last year,” Miller said. “This year, we’re going to try to make some trips up to Wausau to do some skiing, so I wanted to get some more gear for them.”

A snowboarder himself, Miller said he sees others on the slopes with a helmet on more often than not.

“Helmets are becoming more popular on the ski hill, so there’s a few that don’t, but I still see a lot of helmets on the ski hill,” he said.

Nowadays, there is no excuse not to wear a helmet, as manufacturers work to create a variety of styles and colors.

“Helmets are stylish,” Dr. Eckardt said. “They seem to be coming out with a bunch of different brands, different colors, so people can find one that fits with their coat or their skis or whatever it is they need to.”