Protect Your Skater With A CSA Certified Helmet - Learn to Skate

Protect Your Skater With A CSA Certified Helmet

On July 1, 2011 Skate Canada implemented a Helmet Use policy. This policy was implemented as a proactive safety measure to help protect members in the early stages of the CanSkate program that are learning how to skate. Skate Canada believes it is appropriate to implement such a policy to help prevent future injuries to its members that are learning how to skate. In the development of the policy Skate Canada consulted various groups of individuals including parents, and the policy was approved by the Skate Canada Board of Directors earlier in 2011.

Did you know that hockey helmets are intended to help reduce the risk of serious injury to your skull and brain?

Wearing a helmet is a must for the millions of players who play hockey. When worn properly, a helmet certified by the CSA Group can help to protect against serious head injuries. Before you or a family member hits the ice, here are five smart tips to help you select a hockey helmet and visor.

  • Choose a helmet that fits snugly to prevent any shifting. Carefully follow the manufacture’s instructions to make sure your helmet fits comfortably.
  • Make sure the chin strap gently makes contact under your chin.
  • All helmets should have the manufacturer’s identification number, model, size and a permanent warning on the outside of the helmet, detailing the limits of its protection.
  • Always look for the CSA certification mark or that of a recognized certifier in your jurisdiction.

NOTE: Although most helmets are lined with protective foam, some helmets will feel better than others. Try on different brands of helmets for fit and comfort.

Are face masks required as well?

Face masks are not mandatory for our skating programs; however young skaters may benefit from the added protection.

Are used hockey helmets acceptable?

Hockey helmets and face protectors sold in Canada must meet safety standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). If the CSA sticker is not present, throw the product away. Hockey helmets normally last for about three to five years. Hockey helmets must not be used if previously subjected to a major impact or if older than five years or if showing visible signs of damage or if parts are missing. Hockey helmets must have labeling with the date of manufacture and have a chin strap. It is important that the helmet fit properly in order to ensure proper protection.

How can I identify a hockey helmet that is CSA approved? Where will the logo appear on the hockey helmet?

The CSA approved logo will be found on the back of the hockey helmet affixed to the outer shell of the helmet. For more information about CSA standards visit www.csa-international.org.

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Can a parent sign a waiver absolving the club from any liability and allow their child to participate without a helmet?

No. The requirement to wear a helmet is a Skate Canada Policy and all clubs and members must abide by our policies. Therefore in order to participate in the CanSkate program all skaters who have not achieved Stage 5 in the CanSkate program or who lack good balance and control must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet while on the ice.

Why has up to and including Stage 5 been selected as the benchmark for helmet use?

Skaters who lack good control/balance when skating forward, backward and have difficulty stopping, as well as maneuvering around obstacles on the ice are at a higher risk of being unable to control a fall, regardless of their age.

The CanSkate program has been developed to introduce basic skating skills to beginners in a safe and sequential manner. The learning progressions leading to and included in Stage 5 allow skaters to gain the necessary skills (balance, agility, and control) required to safely participate on the ice. While it may be likely that many Stage 5 skaters can skate reasonably well, ice surfaces can be very unpredictable and there is always a risk of falling, no matter what stage a skater is at. CanSkaters participate in a group environment with other skaters on the ice of different levels who may fall and cause other skaters to fall.

Additional safety tips:

  • Use quality equipment – skates with good support, proper fit, laced correctly and sharpened regularly help the skater maintain control on the ice – therefore less chance of falling.
  • Dress appropriately – no scarves, overly bulky snowsuits, or hair in the face as this may restrict movement, vision
  • Warm up and cool down appropriately – to avoid muscle strain and stress on the joints
  • Use skill progressions to prepare for more difficult moves; coach must ensure that beginners are taught proper way to fall and get up
  • Ensure sufficient space between skaters while executing skills.
  • Abide by on-ice safety rules:
  • Get up quickly after falling down
  • Look in the direction of travel when skating backwards
  • No pushing, playing tag or other horse play
  • No gum, candy on the ice
  • Keep rink doors closed during sessions