Helmets are PHaT
Snow riders - both skiers and snowboarders - are running out of excuses for not wearing a helmet whenever on the slopes. New helmet designs and technology have produced lightweight, comfortable helmets that are both warm and well ventilated. A wide variety of styles are available, and as more and more pros utilize helmets they are becoming an accepted part of snow-riding equipment. Best of all they may help to protect you in an accident.
How to Fit a HelmetHere are some guidelines for making sure you buy a helmet that fits properly:
- Place helmet on the head until the front edge extends down to about an inch from the top of the eyebrows.
- Make sure the helmet fits the head snugly from side to side and from front to back.
- In the event the helmet does not fit well, sizing pads can be used to make minor adjustments. Adjust the straps to ensure a custom-fit feel.
- When properly placed, the helmet should not easily "roll" forward or backward. It should not be removable without unbuckling the strap.
- Get a helmet that fits now. Don't plan on growing into it. Work with a knowledgeable salesperson at a reputable store regarding appropriate fit for a helmet and to answer your questions.
- Bring your child's or your goggles in when you buy your helmet. A well-fitting system will provide great protection for the face and forehead from cold wind and snow and still allow adequate ventilation for the goggles.
Dr. Rob’s Tips: General Advice on Helmet Use
- Replacement of helmets is recommended every 5 years. The materials used in the helmet break down over time.
- Check your child’s helmet before each season. Children grow rapidly, so make sure the helmet is still fits properly.
- Helmets are made for single-impact ONLY! If you take a hard fall, replace it.
- Ski and snowboard as if you weren't wearing a helmet. All skiers and boarders should ride responsibly and in control at all times. Helmets may help prevent head injuries in the event of certain types of accidents, but if you're out of control, they cannot protect you in high-speed, head-on accidents any more than motorcycle or other helmets can in other sports.
- Use a helmet designed specifically for skiing or snowboarding. Each sport has its own type of impact and accidents. A bike helmet should never be worn for protection in skiing just as a skiing helmet should never be used for protection in biking.
- Buy a helmet that meets industry standards. There are various helmet standards in place including CEN - the least rigorous standard - ASTM and Snell - far and away the most rigorous and hard-to-meet standard for certification. Be sure to review product literature for the helmet to find out which standard the helmet meets.
- Adults should serve as role models for children. This is an easy one. If you want your children to wear a helmet, wear one yourself.
- Establish a firm rule regarding helmet use and skiing/snowboarding. If a parent decides that helmets should be worn, establish a rule, such as "No helmet equals no skiing or snowboarding." Encourage children to follow the lead of professional athletes, whose academies have rules requiring helmets.
- Keep goggles and helmets attached together. Some parents may find they recoup the cost of the helmet by not having to replace lost goggles (and hats!) as often.
- Use stickers and similar decorations to personalize and make helmets cool. Let the kids get into decorating the helmets with stickers and make the helmets personal expressions of their experiences or dreams or just their creativity.
"Getting this good hurt..."- Shaun White,
"...Don't forget to wear your helmet."- Shaun White,