Plain and simple: helmets save lives. “Some of the most serious and life-changing injuries are injuries to the brain. Helmets are made to protect the brain from concussions and other injuries. Helmets also prevent injuries to the face,” explains Kim Cochrane, Injury Prevention Project co-ordinator for Alberta Health Services.
Choosing the right type of helmet for your child is just as important as wearing a helmet.
“Helmets have different safety features depending on the sport, so it matters what kind of helmet your child wears,” says Cochrane.
Always have your child try on a helmet before buying it. Their comfort is key, and you should never “guesstimate” fit — you want it to be snug, but not tight. Don’t pick a too-big helmet for them to grow into — if they are wearing it now, it should fit now. Buckle the helmet and ask them to shake their head back and forth; the helmet should be level on the top of the head and not move around. The foam pads should touch the head at the front, back, sides and top.
Once the helmet is securely on, check the fit using the “2V1” rule: Don’t wear hats of any kind or high ponytails under a helmet, because they change the way the helmet fits.
The helmet fits properly when you can rest two fingers between your child’s eyebrows and the edge of the helmet.
The strap needs to form a “V” under the child’s ear.
One finger of space is needed chin and chin strap.
For more information on helmet safety, visit thinkfirst.ca or safekidscanada.ca.
This week’s Healthy Content is an excerpt from Apple, Alberta Health Services’ health and wellness magazine.