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The do’s and don’ts of wearing a helmet

ACTION-PACKED ACTIVITIES at the upcoming Scout jamboree led us to ask Richard Bourlon, health and safety team leader, for some helmet-safety do’s and don’ts: 

DO follow the guidance and helmet regulations found at sites like The Consumer Products Safety Commission.

DO pick the right helmet for the right activity; helmets are usually not interchangeable. A bike helmet and a rock-climbing helmet are designed to protect against different types of threats. 

DO wear the helmet correctly—which varies, but typically includes a well-fitted helmet, a snug (and buckled) chinstrap, and a helmet free of damage and/or cracking. “To my knowledge, there is no helmet designed to be worn with a baseball hat under it,” Bourlon adds. 

DON’T think helmets are forever. Unlike football helmets, some are designed for one-time impacts.

DON’T mistake helmets for heirlooms. “If your father or mother wore it at your age, it’s time to get a new one,” Bourlon says. 

DON’T forget other safety necessities besides the helmet—examples include personal protective equipment such as life jackets, gloves, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards, and even appropriate clothing
and footwear.