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Friday, 11 September 2020

International Helmet Awareness Day

Team Tunnah Equestrian International Helmet Day

While International Helmet Awareness Day (lead by Riders4Helmets) falls on just one day, it is important to remember 10 key things about your helmet every single day. Firstly, a little about the campaign... International Helmet Awareness Day was founded in 2010 as a direct result of US Olympian Courtney King Dye’s accident, with the aim of educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitting, secured and certified helmet. Retailers all over the world come together to mark the campaign and will often offer discount or incentives for riders wishing to purchase or renew a certified helmet. 

What are the things that you can consider every single day when it comes to your helmet?

  1. Perhaps the one ALWAYS drilled into us, but one we don't really consider after each fall... You should replace your helmet after any hard impact even if you cannot see any visible damage. The structures inside the helmet could be damaged and weakened meaning that it is not possible for the helmet to protect you as it should when it's needed.

  2. If you can avoid purchasing a hat online, do so. While many retailers are very stringent with their postage, accidents can happen, and something as simple as excess weight being placed on your parcel could create damage to your brand new helmet. Purchasing second-hand helmets can also be risky, even if in-store from a reputable retailer. There is simply no way to know if the helmet has sustained damage during its lifetime.

  3. It's not only damage that means you'll need to replace your hat. They generally need replacing every 4-5 years as the protective materials inside started to deteriorate from general wear over time - sweat can play a part in this.

  4. Even if you fall from a horse that is standing still, while you're mounting or even just dropping your helmet on the floor can cause huge damage to it, leaving it less protective for the next time you need it. Damage to your helmet will increase with the higher the speed of impact AND the height in which the helmet has been dropped or fallen from.

  5. When you have the helmet that you have selected correctly fitted by an approved retailer, your hairstyle can make a difference to the fit. Make sure you wear your hair just as you would when riding ordinarily. 

  6. Falls and accidents have NO statistical correlation between skill level and injury, so if you're a beginner, there's no higher chance that your fall will result in a worse injury than a professional rider. And likewise, professional riders do not suffer more serious injuries than riders simply out for a nice ride in the sunshine.

  7. Due to the calculations of accidents and injuries against participants, horse riding is regarded as more dangerous than downhill skiing or motorcycling. So make sure your helmet is up to the endurance level to protect you should you have an accident.

  8. Make sure you have a helmet when you aren't riding too as approximately 20% of accidents which result in head injury are with the person on the ground. It could be lunging, taking a horse to a field, leading a horse and rider in the arena, clipping, or generally handling a horse. So be aware when you are around any horses, especially if you don't know them well.

  9. Head injuries can be made worst by further concussions, so ALWAYS have a head injury checked out, even if it was only a small "bump". It's worth making sure that small bump didn't aggravate an older injury that's still recovering.

  10. Buy your own helmet. Don't share. Everyone has different sized and shaped heads, so different helmet styles will suit differently shaped heads - make sure you factor this in when fitting the helmet you love for its looks! But also, if you wear a helmet that is too big for your head, it won't protect you in the way that it is designed which could lead to more significant injury. Equally, if you put a helmet on that is too small, you risk cracking the internal structures and materials when pushing it on, again, leave you susceptible to increased injury should you have an accident.

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