How to Find the Right Helmet
Wearing a helmet wasn’t always the social norm with extreme activities. In the early days of many sports, helmets weren’t considered a staple piece of equipment. That was the case with skiing and snowboarding as well. It was rare to see someone on the ski hill with a helmet. Now, you’re the odd man out if you’re not wearing one. With increased awareness and unfortunate instances, helmets have become an important piece of equipment. While we recommend everyone wear a helmet, it’s extremely important that children wear one. Their bodies and brains are still growing and can be more vulnerable than an adult’s. A helmet’s job is to help protect the brain from unlucky spills.
With ski helmets being an important accessory on the slopes, it’s vital to get the right fit for proper function. Not sure how a ski helmet should fit your kiddo? We can help with that. These tips can be used for your personal helmet shopping as well!
A ski helmet should have the goldilocks approval-not too small and not too big. While this has been said before with apparel, it’s even more important with helmets. If a helmet is too tight, it's going to lead to a debilitating headache that’s not fun for anyone. If a ski helmet is too big, it has the potential to not protect from impact. Protip: If the helmet can move around on its own when you shake your head, it's too big. Even just a little too much room can prevent the right protection, as the head could bounce around in the helmet, causing more damage.
It should be a snug, comfortable fit and should cover the forehead, landing just above the eyebrows.
Some parents like to leave room for a layer under the helmet. While this is possible, you don’t want to leave too much room; on warm days, a base layer may not be necessary and then you're left with an oversized helmet. Ski helmets are meant to be warmer than other helmets. They have a liner and many styles have vents that can open and close. If your child is going to wear something in between their head and helmet, make sure it is thin and won’t take up too much room.
A great option is the Turtle Fur Kids Comfort Shell Frostklcava. It’s light weight and made of soft, warm Micro Fur™ fleece. There are also options that are just a cap, without the neck-warming feature.
Find the Right Fit
Helmets are measured according to the circumference of the head. To find the proper size for your child, take a measuring tape and wrap it around the head just above the eyebrows. You will want to take the measurement in centimeters, as that’s how the manufacturers list their sizes. Each brand can have slightly different sizing so make sure to take a look at the measurement. For example, a Smith size small is 48-53cm and a Giro size small is 52-55.5cm.
Many helmets have features that help tailor the fit. Some have a dial on the neck that you can spin to loosen or tighten the helmet. Others have a snap system. The shape of the head can also determine what the best fit will be. Make sure to measure your kid's head for a starting point but know that your child's fit may be a size larger or smaller.
Many people mistake the care and lifetime of a helmet. While a helmet requires no daily maintenance, it should routinely be inspected for anything that could compromise the safety of the helmet. Anytime a helmet sustains an impact it should be examined. If there is any dent or crack, it’s best to replace the helmet. When the structure of the helmet is compromised, it no longer adheres to the safety ratings it was tested at. In addition, it’s recommended to replace a helmet every 5 years regardless if there was any damage or not. The materials used to manufacture helmets can break down causing a decline in safety abilities. If a helmet has never been used, it can extend past the 5 years. Always check with the manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the condition of a helmet.
Bells and Whistles
These helmets look almost alike, why is this one more expensive?!
This is a very common question regarding helmets. The price can go up with the more ‘bells and whistles’ the helmet has. For instance, a helmet with a dial fit system is more expensive to produce than one that has the snap system, which can lead to a price increase. Other features such as opening and closing vents can also mean a difference in price. Some people prefer helmets that have the option to open and close the vents to help better regulate temperature.
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You may have heard the term MIPS being thrown around in the past few years when it comes to ski and snowboard helmets. MIPS, which stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, is a new technology that is an added safety measure. It features an additional layer inside the helmet that is designed to help reduce rotating forces produced by certain impacts. This special technology does increase the price of the helmet but it also increases the safety of your kid.
Skiing Vs. Snowboarding
Did you know that protective helmets can be used interchangeably for sking and snowboarding? Yes, there is no ski or snowboard specific helmet. There are some brands that might be known for one or the other, but that does not mean the helmet is only geared towards one. Anon, for example, is run by a snowboard company, but that does not mean only snowboarders can wear that helmet.
If you’re questioning whether a bike helmet will work for a day in the snow the answer is, not likely. While a bike helmet is safe for biking, it isn’t meant for the cold elements that a snow sports helmet is. Snow sports helmets have a bit more insulation while a bike helmet has more ventilation which could cause a frigid effect in the snow.
The brain is a very valuable body part that people of all ages should protect. Head on over to WinterKids for some awesome options for kids helmets. Mom, do you need a helmet too? WinterWomen has a great collection of women’s helmets to choose from.
Here, you can see Lynn, from WinterKids, walk you through the steps of finding the right fitting helmet.
Still have questions on how to choose the right helmet? Ask them in the comments below!
Skiing & Snowboarding
Tagged: helmet fitting, safety, ski helmet, ski safety, snowboard helmet
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