Helmets are important life-savers, no matter someone’s age or experience. That’s the message from Blue Heron Support Services in Grande Prairie during Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Service Coordinator Jackie Svecla says, despite the conversation around helmet use being typically geared towards young people, it’s often adults who need a reminder about the importance of helmet use.
“It’s a pride thing, a little bit like it’s not cool to wear a helmet… but adults should be wearing them as much as kids, for sure, especially since they’re doing things like quadding, and skateboarding, more high-risk activities. I think people think they’re sometimes invincible, like, ‘it won’t happen to me’, and perhaps it’s a kind of that if you don’t know someone who has suffered a brain injury, you don’t really think of it.”
Svecla says getting a proper helmet fit can be made easier using the “2v1” technique. It suggests that there should be two fingers of space between the wearer’s eyebrow and the bottom of their helmet, the straps should form the letter V under their ears, and they should be able to fit only one finger of space under the strap.
Svecla adds helmets essentially have a best before date, even if they have never absorbed any impact. She says all helmets should be replaced after three to five years of use.
“Whenever you hit your helmet on something you should replace it just because it breaks the helmet down, and over the years, the glue and adhesive from weathering starts to break down as well.”
According to the Northern Brain Injury Association, acquired brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in Canadians under the age of 40.