As the mother of four children, three of them extreme sport-loving boys, I am very familiar with the dangerous side of having fun. This is why I was thrilled to see GeekMom Ariane’s recent post about the importance of wearing helmets while ice skating. Fortunately, many people are finally realizing that flying down the hill on skis requires a good helmet, but it’s taken a bit longer to get the skating crowd on board.
I blame part of this trend on the movies and television shows. When you think about the life moments that might find you sliding around a rink, you usually envision the cute stocking cap on your head, or scarf around your neck. The skating outfit is usually a part of the winter fun scene that television and movie directors are looking for. Adding a rigid dome to the actors’ heads isn’t an option.
There is a reason life doesn’t really look like the movies. From wardrobe to relationships, most of us are smart enough to realize that the real world life is a bit messier.
It’s time for winter sports season once again. Whether you live near a scenic frozen lake or have a rink tucked conveniently in your local shopping mall or town square, a lot of people have access to skating once the winter months hit. So it’s time to talk about helmets.
In our world, having raised our kids in many states, including “wintery” ones, like Utah, New York, and now Colorado, we have a lot of experience with all things winter. When it came to helmets, there were no arguments, no challenges. In the same category of seat belts; our kids were never allowed to think they had any say in the matter. They make you safe, you’re going to click it/don it…every single time. This included when they were on the ice.
Think about it for a minute. Ice is hard. Very hard. Even the most experienced ice skaters can catch the ice wrong and go tumbling. It’s very common for skaters of all experience levels to fall backward and snap their head against the ice. Most orthopedic doctors we’ve encountered would encourage you to put wrist guards on your kids’ wrists too, right after you’ve snapped on that helmet. Falls are common and wrist injuries are not uncommon. But head injuries are much harder to heal.
Take a minute, the next time you’re at a public ice rink, and notice how many little kids are out there, trying their best to make it around the circle without a fall. After you stop hyperventilating about how easy it would be for little fingers to be sliced off from errant skate blades (like I do…every single year), notice how often kids hit the ice. Then get serious about buying your skater a helmet.
That said, it doesn’t have to be a negative parenting moment. The beauty of the internet is we have lots and lots of options to find cool, exciting helmets. Helmets that you can introduce to your child as a fashion accessory, not just a safety device. In fact, the holidays are approaching and it’s a great time to put a helmet on the gift lists of little people in your life. Not just your own kids, but maybe nieces and nephews too. Some of you might be lucky enough to have grandkids in your life (all the fun of raising kids without all of the stresses). Getting them set up in a lifetime helmet-wearing habit is a gift in itself.
One important note: It’s not necessary to buy a helmet just for ice skating. Most kid helmets these days are multi-purpose. You can use the same one for biking, skiing, skate boarding, and ice skating. Even more reason to find one that your kid absolutely loves and is proud to wear.
I’ve scoured my sources and chased rabbit holes all over the internet for you, to show you some great places for you to find your kids’ next helmet. Order soon, so it can arrive in plenty of time for those winter sports.
Let’s start with one of my favorites – Wipeout Dry Erase Helmets. This is one of those ideas that, when I first saw it, said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” What can be more custom than having a helmet that you can change up every day? It comes in base colors of black, white, pink, hot pink, orange, and green. It also comes with markers and stencils. You can find them for about $30 at many major chain stores, or here, at Amazon.com.
With the new Star Wars movie arriving this holiday season, a lot of kids will be thrilled to receive this Star Wars helmet under the tree. Pick it up for just over $20 at this link.
Three years ago, I introduced you to a fabulous helmet company out of New York City. Danielle, the owner of Inkwell Helmets, custom paints helmets, with the sole purpose of making them unique and fun to wear. If your child (like mine) has a slightly larger skull than average, these adult helmets might be an option. Danielle also custom paints helmets so you can pick your size and mail it to you. Here are a couple of her creative endeavors.
One of the major companies that sell creative kids’ helmets is Raskullz. These helmets can be purchased online, or at many of the major department stores, like Target and ToysRUs. They carry a wide variety of styles, and, if you join their Raskullz Brigade, your child’s picture can be featured on their website and you can see a gallery of photos of other kids (being cool) wearing helmets.
Amazon has a nice selection of helmets also, from Hello Kitty to Spiderman. Punch in a variety of key words, like “kids helmet” and “cool helmets” and the lists go on and on. It might be a fun activity to do with your child, sorting through all of the options and letting them pick. Having a part in the buying process will help in the motivation department when it’s time to actually wear the helmet.
Then we have a company you can find at Krashco.com. They feature radical helmets. Think lots of mohawks. If your little rebel has been begging for a crazy haircut, maybe you could start with a helmet, to try out the look.
It can’t be stressed enough that protecting children from head injuries is as important as making sure their car seats are correctly fastened. It’s time for this new generation to grow up instinctively putting on head protection any time they head outside to do certain sports. Why not make it a fun addition to their kid gear, then sit back and watch the other kids at the rink (on the ski slopes, at the bike park) say, “Cool helmet! Where’d you get that?”