Ten Things To Remember On International Helmet Awareness Day
1. If you have a hard impact blow while wearing your helmet, immediately replace it with a new helmet. There may be damage to the helmet that is not visible to the naked eye.
2. Helmet manufacturers generally recommend replacing your helmet every 4-5 years. Helmets take a beating over time from sweat, heat, dust and rain, and the Styrofoam in the helmet relinquishes its ability to protect the head over time. “So, replacing your helmet sooner than 4 to 5 years may in some circumstance be necessary,” said White.
3. A ponytail or different hairstyle can affect the fit of your helmet. When you try on helmets prior to purchase, wear your hair in the style that you expect to wear it when riding.
4. If you purchase your helmet online, check the date of manufacture. Purchasing a used helmet can be very risky and is NOT recommended. The helmet may have sustained previous damage that you aren’t able to see.
5. There is no statistical correlation between skill level and injury likelihood. Professional riders are just as at risk to sustain injury due to a fall as less frequent riders.
6. Even a fall from a standing horse can be catastrophic. Your injury risk depends on the height from which fall, as well as the speed at which you’re traveling.
7. Head injuries are cumulative. An original head injury can be made much worse by additional concussions.
8. Riding is considered more dangerous than downhill skiing and motorcycling.
9. Approximately 20% of accidents which result in head injury happen while the person is on the ground.
10. It is best if you invest in your own helmet regardless of whether or not you own a horse. “It is a personal purchase. Your helmet is designed to fit your head,” reminds White. As incorrectly fitting helmet offers very little, to no protection. In addition to wearing a correctly fitting helmet, you must have the harness correctly fastened on your helmet. If the harness is not fitting snugly, the helmet can rotate should you have a fall and thus not be able to protect your head to its fullest intention.