A Heads Up on Helmets

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It is time for some righteous ski and snowboarding activities and Dr. Jen is happy to see that the use of helmets is not only mandatory in most ski areas but also a “cool” fashion statement.  Please remember though, that helmets aren’t just for extreme sports. Many fun seasonal activities, such as bike riding, blading, skiing or skating or tobogganing, require the use of a helmet. Helmets 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: 1) single-impact and 2) multiple-impact.

Here are a few tips that will help you select a helmet that is appropriate for the activity that you’re doing:

  • 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?
  • 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).
  • 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!

Should you or your child experience a head injury, please call Dr. Jen. People do not realize just how serious a “little” hit to the head can be on your spine and nervous system. A Chiropractic adjustment is very often necessary to re-align all that was knocked out of place even if a helmet was worn.

source: Ontario Chiropractic Association