In June 2017 Curling Canada implemented a Helmet Use recommendation. This recommendation was implemented as a proactive safety measure to help protect young curlers, new curlers and curlers who are at increased risk of falling on the ice, such as curlers over the age of 60.
- Curling Canada recommends helmets be mandatory for anyone under the age of 12.
- Curling Canada recommends helmets be CSA-approved hockey headgear.
- From age 12, parents should sign waivers or, helmets are worn until the age of majority in that province/territory.
- Curling Canada strongly recommends that anyone in a Learn-To-Curl program (adults or juniors) wears protective headgear.
- Curling Canada strongly recommends that anyone who is vulnerable (related to experience, medical, etc.) wear protective headgear on ice or, sign waivers if choosing not to wear protective headgear.
- Curling Canada will work to develop an ongoing concussion awareness education program that can be circulated to through Curl BC.
How should the hockey helmet fit? (Courtesy of the SkateCanada website)
- A hockey helmet should fit snug to prevent any shifting and maximize protection. Make sure the chinstrap can be adjusted so it gently makes contact under the chin when fastened.
- For an adjustable helmet, open it to the largest setting and gradually begin to downsize the helmet until a comfortably snug fit is achieved. The helmet should rest on the head so that the rim is one finger width above the eyebrow and making contact with the top of your head.
- 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.
- All CSA certified helmets have a sticker indicating their certification.
Why hockey helmets?
- Hockey helmets are designed to help protect against head injuries occurring on ice, whether from a fall or collision. A bicycle helmet, for example, is designed to protect against head injuries should a fall occur while riding a bicycle. It is important to ensure that when a curler is on the ice, they are protected with equipment designed for their sport or activity.
If curlers in our centre are using protective headgear other than hockey helmets, should we be thinking of changing our policy?
- If curlers in your centre currently use protective headgear other than a hockey helmet, it is a good start. But the recommendation is to use CSA-approved hockey helmets going forward, so if your club does invest in headgear, Curl BC would strongly recommend getting hockey helmets. Any new curlers should be encouraged to get hockey helmets, and should not invest in different gear. Here is a link with more information on Which Helmet for Which Activity: http://www.aata.ca/wp-content/
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 labelling with the date of manufacture and have a chin strap. It is important that the helmet fit properly in order to ensure proper protection.
What is the cost of a hockey helmet?
- Most hockey helmets retail for approximately $50. Many CSA approved hockey helmets are adjustable and could be used for multiple years of curling within the club.
I am a coach. What can I do to communicate this recommendation?
- Coaches should encourage and positively reinforce the use of hockey helmets in curling. This can be done by continually reminding curlers about safety. It is recommended that coaches also wear helmets to model good behaviour.
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 csa-international.org.
Our centre currently does not mention helmets in our waivers. Should we update our waivers?
- It is recommended that all clubs update their waivers to mention the new recommendation. To assist with that, Curl BC Participation Manager Melissa Sim has created two types of waivers which your curling centre is welcome to use. Centres should be aware that waivers should be signed every year and should not be considered ongoing, as this could result in your centre not having the proper protection.
- Template Adult Waiver
- Minor Curler Informed Consent and Assumption of the Risk
Is there still a risk of concussion for curlers using a helmet?
- Helmets do a good job of protecting against MOST brain injuries, but not all. It is still possible to get a concussion while wearing a helmet. For more on brain injuries, concussions and helmet policy in sport, visit http://www.parachutecanada.
Any BC curlers who have questions about the helmet recommendation can contact Melissa Sim at email@example.com.