An estimated one million Britons will go skiing this February half-term, and ABTA has reported an increase in the number of people enquiring about safety equipment, particularly helmets, to hire and purchase.

According to ABTA, 76 per cent of skiers wore a helmet in Switzerland in 2013 and this figure is expected to increase again in 2014.

It also found that an increasing number of 16-24 year olds, the age group most likely to go on a ski holiday, continue to wear a helmet on the slopes if they have grown up doing so.

Peter Mulhern, head of serious injury at Thompsons, said: “Wearing protective equipment when going on a winter sports holiday is absolutely essential. It needs to become as routine as putting on your ski gloves.

“Accidents can happen all too easily and everyone, of all age groups, should be encouraged to protect themselves from injury. With ABTA reporting that 47 per cent of under 35s don’t take out appropriate winter sports insurance having a helmet that can save you having to claim in the first place is vital.

“People typically think of broken bones with skiing but the risk of a head injury is very real as the recent accident involving Michael Schumacher all too clearly demonstrates. Preventing head traumas should be a top priority for anyone taking a winter holiday this February half-term.”