Preparing for the ski season is no joke! If you've never done it before, you'll inevitably forget something. In my experience, it's best to acquiesce in this reality as you're reading this, so you won't feel too bad when you're up the mountain, riffling through your bags in the car park yet not locating what you're desperately looking for.
Going through each family member’s gear to ensure it fits properly, hasn’t been lost or damaged (I know gloves can be notoriously difficult for little ones to hold onto), and replacing what’s missing, can be downright exhausting. Yet, as you do it, make sure you put your kid’s ski helmet at the top of the list. It’s a sturdy reminder that your child can learn the joys of the mountain while being safe.
The Lids on Kids initiative is one that is supported worldwide and ski schools advocate the wearing of suitable and accredited snow helmets.
Keep reading for all the top tips on how to buy a helmet that’ll prioritise ski safety.
1. The ski helmet should be safety certified.
If you didn’t know that a ski helmet safety certification existed, surprise! There are generally 3 different accepted certifications depending on where the helmet is manufactured or sold – the European CE standard (CEN 1077), The American Society of Testing and Materials (ATSM F2040) and the Snell (RS-98). It merely indicates that it’s a helmet suitable for snow sports and will keep your kid safe and sound while skiing. If you’re having trouble figuring out whether or not your chosen helmet qualifies, check inside for a certification sticker!
2. The ski helmet should fit properly.
Proper fit is as important to ski safety as having a helmet in the first place. A good general guideline is that your kid’s ski helmet should be snug to their head but not tight (and certainly not anything that they complain about on the mountain). Have them try it on with all of their face and neck gear, especially goggles and any thick balaclavas so that you can truly gauge how it fits. There shouldn’t be a gap between your child’s goggles and their head or chairlift
fro-zone headaches are just about guaranteed. The chinstrap should also fasten comfortably against their throat so that it won’t fly off in case of impact.
Often there are manufacturer's recommendations on helmet and goggle combinations that fit well together, so it's worth asking the question and investing in a good kids helmet and kids goggle combo.
3. The ski helmet should be in good condition.
Do you have more than one child? Hand-me-downs are the norm of course, but kids’ ski helmets aren’t always the best hand-me-down item unless they’re fairly new and in really good condition. Kids do tend to take a tumble or two as they ramp up their experience so if in doubt, I recommend buying new!
Feel free to pass down the coats, pants, and hats, but protect their head with something solid. If your child’s head hasn’t grown for a while, consider replacing every 3-5 years depending on how much wear and tear the helmet has gotten! Also, consider that new technology may also add to helmet safety, so it’s good to get a helmet update from time to time.
Renting kids ski helmets also run in the same vein. You just don't know where the helmet has been and what it's seen, so visit a reputable ski rental shop and ask about their rental helmet policies.
Again, if in doubt, invest in a new helmet for your child. Most kids skiing helmets are adjustable so you do get a few seasons out of them. Consider also that an average adult head circumference is about 55-57cm so at some point your child will be in a youth helmet that they can use reliably for a bit longer!
4. When in doubt, ask for help.
If you feel overwhelmed by purchasing a kid’s ski helmet, don’t hesitate to go into a store and ask an experienced store assistant for help. Bring your child with you (yes, this is ideal!) and get them fitted with their goggles. It will ensure that they get the proper helmet for them and save you any guessing. If it's not convenient to go into a store, email us and we will guide you through the process as best we can!
If you need peace of mind on the mountain, a properly fitting helmet is one of the best ways to achieve it. A well fitting kids ski helmet is one of the keys to ensure your child's ski safety, so make sure that your kid has all the right gear before hitting the slopes!