Different helmets for different activities
By Lisa Klindt Simpson, coordinator, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition, Children’s Health Education Center
You wouldn’t try to catch a football with a baseball glove, would you? Would your kids try to play soccer with a basketball? No, it probably wouldn’t work very well.
The same goes for a helmet. While fit is most important, it’s also important to remember that different helmets protect kids in different ways for all of their activities.
Helmets are designed for one purpose – to provide an extra layer of protection to keep our brains and heads safe. How a helmet protects our heads varies from activity to activity.
For biking, it’s a good idea to stick with a bike helmet. Falls from a bike can tip you sideways or, more often than not, flip you forward over the bike’s handlebars. To keep you protected from these kinds of falls, you need a helmet that fully covers the forehead.
With skateboards, inline skating, snowboarding and riding scooters, among other activities, the fall tends to be from losing your feet first, crashing backwards on your bottom and hitting the back of your head on the ground. In that case, you need a helmet that fully covers the back of the head. That’s when multi-sport helmets are necessary. Multi-sport helmets generally are flatter against the head and provide good support for impacts centered at the back of the head.
Remember that whatever the activity, your head needs to be protected. But it’s just as important to wear the right kind of helmet!
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