Figure Skating Helmets

There are hockey helmets for hockey players, helmets for speed skaters and ski helmets for skiers but I've never seen a helmet for figure skaters that is certified by a relevant safety organization. I believe the theory is that when figure skaters start doing jumps and more advance spins, that the helmet will throw them off balance and they won't be able to do the prescribed moves. They also look icky.

I've seen some helmets advertised as ice skating helmets but I don't know if they are CSA certified or the US equivalent.

Despite that, most learn-to-skate programs require or recommend helmets for skaters who are learning. There was a study recently that determined that ski helmets were ineffective at preventing concussions for skaters. Hockey helmets were the only recommended protection for skaters although I suppose those foam helmets the short-track speed skaters wear would also do the job. The main difference is that hockey helmets are designed to be able to withstand multiple impacts. Cycling helmets (and I suspect speed skating helmets) are generally designed to be only used once and must be replaced if the wearer has a helmet impact.

My kids learned to skate with a cycling helmet. Neither ever sustained a concussion. In 10 years at the rink, I've only seen one or two kids come of the ice and be sidelined for a week because of a concussion. The risk is real. It does happen. It doesn't happen a lot. I'm sure most skating head injuries happen when kids are horsing around, not when they're taking lessons. That said, the figure skaters I saw get concussions were simply working on jumps like they were supposed to so it's not just something that happens to careless kids. Follow the rules of the instructors and then follow your own instincts.

Maybe someday there will be figure skating helmets. They will be pink and sparkly. Until then, our kids seem to be doing a good job of falling and not bouncing their head off the ice.

See also When should my kid stop wearing a helmet?

Comments   

 
# threenorns 2013-03-13 11:51
i bought my daughter's helmet when she was 3. checking out the hockey helmet, it was *heavy*. instead, i paid out $85 for a snowboarding helmet (adult size XS with a light bit of padding for fit - she's a big kid) bec it weighs about as much as two feathers. i figure the potential impact from a snowboarding accident would far outweigh anything a 3yr old could manage, even if she was the weight of an average 7yr old and the height of an average 5yr old. i was told by the sports shop that if she does sustain a knock hard enough to cause a concussion, the helmet would be toast but i'm okay with that.

however, canskate, for some reason, has dictated that only CSA-certified hockey helmets are to be worn, so i guess if she does get into formal canskate lessons, i'll have to buy one of those helmets.
 
 
# Elaine Vigneault 2016-11-19 18:29
I think there will be figure skating helmets eventually. All sports are catching up to the science of head injury. Ice skating is one of the top ten for head injury so it's just reasonable that there will be more head protection options. Currently, I have my son wear a skateboarding/s cooter helmet (more protection on the back of the head than a typical cycling helmet) while he's taking lessons and then I plan to transition him to a softer style soccer type "helmet" or riding cap type of head protection. Consider this news about a pro figure skater's decision to retire at age 21 due to too many concussions: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2016/07/01/187300788