Heads Up on Helmets
Helmets aren’t just for extreme sports. Many fun seasonal activities, such as bike riding, blading, skiing or skating, require the use of a helmet. They are designed to protect your head and can reduce the risk of an injury by 30 per cent. There are such a wide variety of activities requiring helmets that it’s important to pick the right one for the job.
There are two basic types of helmets: single-impact and multiple-impact. Here are a few tips that will help you select a helmet that is appropriate for the activity that you’re doing.
Picking the right helmet
Ski and snowboarding helmets are designed to protect your head against ONE impact accident. After it’s been in a crash, it should be replaced even if there doesn’t appear to be any damage. Hockey helmets are designed to withstand several impacts. Helmets that are designed to protect the back of the head should be used for winter sports.
Don’t settle for second-hand
While it may be tempting to buy a second-hand helmet or use a hand-me-down, keep in mind that plastic helmets become brittle and weaken with age. Make sure you know the answer to two questions:
1. Has this helmet been in a crash?
2. Is it more than five years old?
Look for safety certification
Older helmets may not meet current safety standards. It’s important to look for safety certification by CSA (Canadian Standards Association), or CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission).
The right fit
Proper fit is just as important as choosing the right helmet. It should comfortably touch your head all the way around, and be snug enough to stay firmly in place. Your helmet should sit level on your head and ride as low as possible to protect the sides of your head.
Head injuries can be devastating, and you should never skimp on getting the right helmet for your needs – remember, you can’t put a price on your brain!