A coroner is urging ice skaters to wear helmets to prevent fatal head injuries and is commending one rink operator for providing them free of charge.
The comments follow the death of Timaru woman Irene Peckitt, who died several days after falling backwards and hitting her head during a school trip to the Alpine Springs skating rink at Lake Tekapo.
Mrs Peckitt was dazed after the fall on 1 September last year. She was admitted to hospital the following day where she was diagnosed with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.
Coroner Richard McElrea says Mrs Peckitt may well have avoided serious injury if she had been wearing a helmet.
Mr McElrea has commended Alpine Springs for now providing free helmets and is encouraging other skating rink operators to do the same.