Helmets and Winter Safety
A helmet can prevent your child’s tumble from becoming a tragedy. We have helmet tips to keep children safe during winter sports, and all year long.
There was a time when protecting our children’s heads during winter play meant insisting on a warm hat and scarf. Today, parents understand that helmets are a crucial factor in injury prevention during winter activities like sledding and skiing. Children will heal after most cuts or broken bones, but brain damage can be permanent. Helmets prevent disabling head injuries, and are considered so important to safety that many states have passed laws mandating helmet use.
When your child wears a helmet, the risk of serious head injury drops by 85 percent. The helmet’s hard outer shell and foam lining cushions the head from blows. During a fall or crash, the helmet absorbs the force of the impact that would otherwise be delivered directly to the skull. We have some helmet tips to help keep your child safe during winter sports, and activities all through the year.
Select a helmet that meets safety standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Snell Memorial Foundation set helmet safety standards. Choose a helmet that meets these standards. Helmet design changes over time in response to new evidence about the best protection measures, so it’s important to replace an old helmet with a new one that meets the current guidelines.
Replace helmets after a collision. If your child is in an accident involving a blow to the helmet, replace it. The interior cushioning may be damaged even when the exterior helmet shell looks fine.
Helmet fit matters. Take the time to have your children try on various helmets. Look for a fit that is level, covers the forehead, and is snug; the helmet shouldn’t slide or tilt on your child’s head. And remember, children are more likely to wear a helmet if they like the way it looks.
Helmets are sport specific. Bike and ski helmets are not interchangeable; your child is not going to be adequately protected wearing a biking helmet on the slopes.
Make helmets a habit. Many accidents happen near home. Make helmet wearing a habit whether your child plans to spend the afternoon sledding, or is off on a 5-minute bike ride. Set a good example by wearing your own helmet during appropriate sports activities.
A helmet is a small investment that can pay invaluable dividends in the event of an accident. At Summit, we want to help you and your family to safely enjoy all the fun that winter has to offer.
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From Olympians to pro athletes to youth sports and those that just want to be more active – Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
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