I saw a post on Facebook yesterday; it was a selfie of a
friend of mine on a ski area chair lift with his two kids—ages 5 and 10. The
boy and girl peered out from beneath the brims of their brightly colored
helmets, and dad smiled broadly from under his wool hat. No helmet. My friend
is a terrific dad, but really?
Parents don't knowingly put their kids at risk of concussion
(or worse) by allowing them to ride and play without a helmet...that's a
no-brainer. But simply asking your kids to put on their helmets doesn’t mean
you’re doing everything you can to prevent brain injury.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HEADS
UP campaign aims to protect kids and teens by raising awareness and informing
action to improve prevention, recognition, and response to concussion and other
serious brain injuries. One important way is through education for helmet
safety and yes, parents, they want you to wear yours too!
The three keys to a safe helmet are 1.) It fits well; 2.)
it's worn correctly; and 3.) it's in good condition. The CDC recommends
consulting manufacturers' guidelines for determining the right type of helmet
for an activity, encourages consultation with a professional to be sure the
helmet is properly adjusted, and has also provided several sport-specific
resources to help consumers with helmet safety.
And be sure to model good helmet safety for your kids.
Embrace the #helmethead yourself, and always wear the right helmet, one that
fits well, is worn correctly, and is in good condition. For more information, and
some wise words from former World Champion Snowboarder Kevin Pearce, visit www.cioffredi.com/helmethead.