Hunter allows kids who are 4 or older
Depends on the carrier and/or if the resort is willing to pay extra for the coverage. There are very few "we won't insure if you do/don't do this" type statements, but there are a lot of "if you want to do this, it will cost you double" type answers. Simple economics apply: if a resort can get enough families to put their 2.5 year olds through a program, they can afford just about any insurance cost.
As far as physical limitations, I wasn't talking about the ability to learn to board, I was talking about the abilty to handle the fall. I took my 1.5 YO Daughter skiiing on the 26th (ankle bar and tip connectors). No falls in the 45 mintues we were out, yet she can't seem to walk across the living room without tanking it. Go figure.
Three important things to note:
1) from a medical science standpoint, anytime you are moving faster than you can run and/or the potential fall is higher than your normal height to the ground, the risk of a head injury increases exponentially. Once your head makes contact with an object, you're right, it doesn't matter what age you are. Having read lots of reports and meeting folks that have been injured is frightening, yet I only put on the helmet if doing the terrain park or glade skiing. On the flip side, I used to only wear my bike helmet on MTB, now I always wear one. Personal choice, I guess.
2)The fall that scares insurers the most is not the head-over-tips leg breaker through the woods. People tend not to sue over that one, and if they do, the cost is *relatively* low (note most insurance companies providing "sports/adventure sports" coverage typically settle in all but the extreme fraud situations, regardless of "fault"). The fall that scares them, and should scare everyone, is the backward fall where you can't take a step backwards. This is the fall that is likely to create the whip effect in which your head will actually accerlate into the ground. This is where the statistics come into play: the older you are, the more likely you are to have the ability to decelerate your noggin. Speed plays a factor in this one on snow: the faster you are going, the more likely you are going to roll and/or slide and not whip your head (as opposed to biking and in-line skating, where you are just as likely to smack your head). In hockey, skateboarding and football, this type of injury is pretty common, regardless of age, yet the injuries are more severe in the younger ages. That being said, head injuries involve a lot of unknowns.
3) People tend not to sue when they injure themselves skiing (not including blatent resort equipment malfunction). Parents, on the other hand, become very litigous when their kids get injured, regardless of fault.
As far as on the mountain goes, I did this in 98-99, and the under 10 crowd was reporting the largest increase in the per skier visit injury. The "novice" snowboarder represented the largest head injury percent, regardless of age. IIRC, 12 and under snowboarders represented just under 50% of all head injuries, regardless of "experience". Don't know if things have changed since then
Todd (really needs to create a logon)