This winter (and every winter), you nee a helmet for any sport that could get your noggin cracked. Ice skating, skiing/boarding, and sledding are the big ones.
My kids look at me a little funny when I tell them they don’t need to wear one XC skiing, but maybe they should?!?
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I don’t even know why helmets are a hot-button topic. I don’t know why there is any negotiation or question about why you shouldn’t wear one. In my opinion, it’s an across-the-board, no-questions-asked, you wear your helmet every. single. time.
But, I know there are people out there that disagree and think I am
- being overly cautious
- am promoting something that doesn’t really work anyway
- opening the door for people to be MORE reckless just because they think they are invincible with a helmet on
I beg to differ.
Even if YOU are the best skier/boarder/sledder out there, you’re sharing the hill with many people who are not.
“Increased helmet usage has proven to reduce all head injuries, especially potentially serious head injuries (PSHI). ….while helmet usage increased in the last 10 years, there was a dramatic improvement in the decline of potentially serious head injuries, particularly in concussions. According to the study’s authors, three quarters of all PSHI from skiing or snowboarding are mild concussions, and 90 percent of PSHIs are typically treated and released from hospitals or clinics within four hours. The study concluded that ski and snowboard helmets are extremely effective at preventing skull fractures, and have virtually eliminated scalp lacerations.” –Source
So basically, yes, it’s still going to hurt if you bang up your head. But, a helmet DOES reduce the severity of the injury in most cases.
The good news? Every year since NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) starting keeping track (in 2002), there has been a significant increase of the amount of people wearing helmets voluntarily. In 2002, it was about 20% of riders, in 2016, it jumped to 80%.
So what about the little kids??
While technically, kids’ necks cannot fully support a helmet until they are about a year old, our kids know that without exception they will not be allowed to bike, skate, ski, or sled without one on their head after they reach that age.
In fact, we taught our kids almost too well – they are the self-proclaimed helmet police and quickly notice AND point out anyone not wearing theirs. Which has turned into a few embarrassing situations. But, I’ll take that over my kids fighting wearing helmets at all.
I get questions all the time about how to get kids to be good about wearing helmets. While every kid is certainly different, my best advice is that you just don’t teach them any different. From the very first time they are on skis or on a bike, they wear it. The two go hand-in-hand.
Have a stubborn kiddo? Me too (actually, me four). Believe me, I feel your pain.
Let them jazz it up so they think it is fun. Add stickers or covers or whatever it takes. There are lots of companies out there now working very hard to make helmets attractive, if not completely obnoxious, for kids.
Better yet, “monkey see, monkey do” – Wear YOUR helmet too. Every time.
Finally, it is also very crucial to point out the importance of a well-fitting helmet. Here’s how to fit them best:
- Take a soft measuring tape and wrap it around your head about 1 inch above your eyebrows and ears. Most helmets are measured in centimeters, so unless you love calculations, measure your head in centimeters. Order a helmet that will fit your head.
- Try it on! Once you get it, be sure it actually fits like it should. It should be snug all the way around, but not so tight as to cause discomfort.
- Shake it! If you move your head all around and your helmet stays put, it’s a good fit.
- Try it on with goggles – there should be no gap between the goggles and the helmet.
- Do NOT buy a helmet to “grow into” for kids or a used helmet.
Helmets We Recommend
This helmet provides an adjustable, snug fit even on really small heads which was key for us. The lining is super warm and our son has never needed an additional layer underneath.
It has MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System), which is quickly becoming the new standard for helmet safety technology. It interfaces really well with goggles, and most of all our son loves it! Bright green color really helps with visibility. – Ginny
Like the Crue, the Launch does a really good job fitting small heads well for a safe fit. We tried on numerous helmets on our three year old and this was the only one that we felt was going to keep her safe.
Not going to lie, she also happens to love the bow on it (despite eye rolls from Dad!) It’s warm enough to wear without a liner hat most days. – Amelia
Check out our full review here of the Anon Define – it’s an incredible option for kids!
The Lucky Bums snow helmets are really great for super young toddlers, like 1 year olds. They’re lightweight and very low-profile. They are also inexpensive. Harper wore her Lucky Bums Doodlebug when she was really little and it seemed comfortable, and she actually kept it on.
Another cool feature is the whole inside liner comes out and it’s machine washable. You never know…hot chocolate spill, throw up, sweaty toddler head…might need to wash that a thing! – Team member Sarah
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