Frequently Asked Questions
Why does this matter? How many kids are really hurt by not wearing a helmet when they ride a skateboard?
Skateboarding injuries can range from a broken bone to severe head injury. In San Diego County alone there were 373 skateboarding injuries, 303 of which were head injuries during two year period ( 2013 to 2015) Of those injuries, only 34 (9.1%) were wearing a helmet.
Of the skateboarders with head injury, only 7.3 % were wearing a helmet.
Of the skateboarders without head injury, 17.1% were wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet can protect your head from serious injury by up to 88%!
For national statistics on skateboarding injuries visit: www.skatepark.org/park-development/2013/03/2012-skateboarding-fatalities
What are the consequences of not wearing a helmet?
Not wearing a helmet significantly increases the chances that a skateboarder can sustain a head injury, even with the simple task of riding down the street.
Head injury takes many forms, from a concussion to a skull fracture and bleed within the head.
Concussions are typically temporary; however multiple concussions, especially when a second is sustained before the brain recovers from the first concussion, can take much longer to recover and have more serious symptoms.
Even with a helmet you can still get a concussion, it is important to check for symptoms and seek medical attention immediately.
A skull fracture, can lead to a bleed within the brain that can injure many parts of the brain, thus impacting everything from speech, memory vision and thinking, and if not treated immediately can cause death.
To check if you have a concussion, or a more serious injury follow the link provided to the Center for Diseases.www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_symptoms.html
Not everyone recovers from a head injury; this can lead to livelong disability and dependence. The use of a helmet can protect your head from serious injury up to 88%. The simple act of wearing a helmet, could save your life!
How do you choose a helmet?
When selecting a helmet, make sure you check to make sure it is approved by both the ASTM (American Safety Testing Measurment) and the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) . ASTM is an American standard- ASTM F1492 is the certification required for multi impact Skateboard helmets Then make sure your helmet is crash tested for the sport you plan to use it for. Bike helmets are not tested for falls that are typical of a skateboarder. There are many types of multi-sport helmets which are approved for all sports.
Fit: make sure the helmet fits on your head completely (with no spare room at the top, which means it is too small) the helmet should not fall off when you move your head around without the strap fastened. It should be comfortable and not constrict at any point. Different brands fit different head shapes, so shop around for the fit that works for you. The helmet should sit on your head so that you see the top rim of the helmet by just looking up!
Fasten: Helmets don't help much if they are not fastened. Make sure you fasten the helmet with the side straps forming a "V" at your ear, tighten the strap, so that when you open your mouth, the helmet tips forward a bit.
The Cool Factor: First of all your helmet should have plenty of vents to keep you cool when you are active, and you are more likely to wear it! But don't forget about the other cool factor, you should feel good about how you look in a helmet, again, you are most likely to wear something you like!
How do I convince my child to wear a helmet?
Start enforcing use of a helmet with your child's very first set of wheels. Just as you would clicking into their car seat! Make sure you too, wear a helmet and buckle up. Comparing research from the use of seatbelts, 8 out of 10 children will buckle up if they see their parents doing the same.
Create and enforce rewards and consequences for using or not using a helmet. Click on the link below to download a sample that you can use.
Speak to other parents and your children's friends; make sure your community reinforces the use of helmets. Create a contract with your neighbors and friends, calling out your child if they are seen not wearing a helmet. The Neighborhood Watch works for enforcing all kinds of safety, not just crime prevention.
Helpful websites include: www.xsportsprotective.com/pages/how-to-choose-a-skateboard-helmet
How can you educate and advocate for helmet use in your community or school?
Ask your school, or neighborhood Home Owners Association to create policies and methods of enforcing use of helmets. Encourage your school, athletic clubs and recreation centers to provide education on use of a helmet and prevention of head injury.
The snowboarding industry has been very successful with helmet use, the helmets are comfortable, typically match the gear and boarders find them "cool" to wear, and part of their "kit". Most skateboarders also snow board. Let's make wearing a helmet a year 'round habit!
I want to share my story and get involved with Safe Kids and MyGreyMatterz who do I contact?
Safe Kids San Diego welcomes new members and there are many ways for you to get involved; from attending meetings to learn more about this issue, to hosting educational booths, presenting to schools and submitting letters of support to your legislators to implement stronger enforcement laws.
Contact the Coordinator of Safe Kids San Diego, Mary Beth Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (858) 576-1700 ext. 3547.
To share your story with MyGreyMatterz.org click here
I need support of a child with a brain injury, are there support groups or agencies that can assist?
There are several organizations in San Diego that offer support to individuals with head injury and their families. Below are just a few that you can contact to learn more about their services.
San Diego Brain Injury Foundation: www.sdbif.org/supportgroups.html
The Betty Clooney Center: www.bcftbi.org/tbi-resources/support-groups.asp