PHAT (Protect Head at All Times) is a helmet advocacy program created in 2002 by Dr. Robert Williams, a pediatric anesthesiologist and a critical care specialist at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.
PHAT has joined forces with the UVM College of Medicine, the National Ski Patrol and other partners to encourage all skiers and riders to wear helmets so they have a safer experience on the slopes. In just a few years, the PHAT team has created an effective program to increase usage of helmets, and raised the visibility of the issue throughout the U.S.
The program is based on the belief – supported by recent medical literature – that helmets are effective in reducing the chance of a head injury while skiing or snowboarding. In fact, a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that 7,700 head injuries could be prevented every year if skiers and snowboarders wore helmets.
The PHAT program is a non-profit, public service project of Fletcher Allen Health Care and has no ties to helmet manufacturers or retailers.
PHAT’s strategy is to change the culture at ski resorts so that wearing a helmet is accepted as the norm. Its non-coercive approach involves encouraging ski areas to make sure all images of skiers depict them wearing helmets; distributing posters and stickers designed to appeal to young skiers and boarders; encouraging ski areas to see their employees as role models in the use of helmets; and using informational booths and drawings for helmets to attract attention to the issue.
"In just a few years, PHAT has created an effective, non-coercive program to increase usage of ski helmets and raised the visibility of the issue across the nation. We’re very pleased to be partnering with PHAT to help skiers and snowboarders of all ages have a safer experience on the slopes." —Tim White, Executive Director of the National Ski Patrol
"Getting this good hurt..."- Shaun White,
"...Don't forget to wear your helmet."- Shaun White,