Heads Up: Tips on How to Keep Your Kids Head-Injury Free

Head injuries are serious business. Here's how to make sure your kids play safe this summer and all year round.

head-injury-preventionPrevent Falls at the Playground

• Ensure that there is a deep, soft surface under the equipment.

• Actively supervise children-especially those younger than nine years of age, as these kids are big risk takers.

• Keep kids younger than five off equipment higher than 1.5 metres (five feet).

Pick the Right Helmet

Use the appropriate helmet for the sport-bike helmets are meant for cycling, in-line skating and scootering, while skateboarding helmets cover more of the back of the head and can withstand multiple impacts.

Tips on How to Properly Fit Your Child’s Helmet:

• It should cover the top of the forehead and rest about two fingers’ width about the eyebrows.

• The side straps should fit snugly around the ears in a “V” shape. The side strap buckles should be right under the ear.

• Buckle the chin strap, tightening it until you can only fit one finger between the strap and your child’s chin.

• Helmets come with extra padding. Your child may need it at the from or back.

• Have your child shake her head from side to side and front to back. The helmet should not move.

• As your child ages and understands how the helmet should it, she’s ready to start adjusting it herself by following these guidelines.

• Check the helmet or box for certification from CSA (Canadian Standards Association), CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), Snell or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).

Treat Injuries Appropriately

“If your child seems to be in pain, it’s okay to go ahead and give a does of an over-the-counter painkiller, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, that is appropriate for the age of the child,” says Dr. Stephen Porter, head of paediatric emergency medicine at The Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto. “If your child is walking okay and drinking okay and acting okay, then she probably really is fine,” he says. “Parents know their children and their patterns. If you’re concerned, seek medical advice.”

When to Seek Medical Attention (For Children and Teens)

• Headaches that persist or worsen

• Repeated vomiting

• Confusion or trouble seeing,speaking or walking

• Crossed eyes or squinting

• Weakness of an arm or leg

• Neck stiffness or pain

• Unusual drowsiness


Keep stickers off helmets. The solvents in the adhesive may weaken the plastic.

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