Needs Assessment for a Toddler Winter Activity Protection Head Gear
This study compared the protective characteristics for helmets used by toddlers participating in winter recreational activities. Sliding, skating, skiing and snow boarding all involve the risk of head injury from situations such as slipping and falling or hitting a tree. There are unique characteristics that influence brain injury that apply to toddlers; they have smaller heads and are shorter and therefore closer to the ground when they fall. In activities like sliding and skiing they are able to obtain very high velocities, especially when either sliding or skiing with their parents. This creates a disproportionate amount of risk considering the underdeveloped skills necessary to protect themselves during unexpected events like falling or hitting an object. The three most common types of certified helmets used for winter activities in Canada were included in this study. Ice hockey, alpine ski and bicycling helmets were impacted at 2.0 m/s, 4.0 m/s, 6.0 m/s, and 8.0 m/s at the front impact location using a monorail drop rig. The results showed the ice hockey helmet protected the child the best at 2 m/s and 4m/s when using peak linear acceleration and for 2m/s, 4m/s and 6 m/s when considering angular acceleration. The bicycle helmet protected the best at 6 m/s and 8 m/s when comparing peak linear acceleration values and for 8m/s when comparing peak angular acceleration values. It was concluded that children need to choose a helmet depending on the type of activity involved and the type of injury presenting the greatest risk.