Ask ScooterDad: Hey Kenny, I've got a new scooterer (almost 4yo) and we're buying a helmet for him. What's better: a 'bike' helmet or a 'skate' helmet. Why is one better than the other?

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I'm not a helmet expert by any means, but here's my understanding of the differences. Skate helmets are not certified for impact ratings and bike helmets are certified. That is, skate helmets, while better than nothing, may not offer as much protection as a bike helmet. However, skate helmets that aren't certified are usually a lot more comfortable as they have soft foam liners. Bike helmets usually have harder foam liners, which means they can absorb a bigger impact, but the foam doesn't rebound. That means that you should replace the helmet after any significant impact. Skate helmets will rebound because the foam is softer and squishier, but they can't protect your head against harder impacts.

My personal feeling is that, for my kid, skate helmets are fine until he starts doing really big stuff. Getting kids to wear helmets is hard enough, so compromising a little bit on protection for comfort is worth it to me. Now, as soon as he starts going bigger stuff, like over 10-foot airs, we're going to have a discussion about helmets. If he starts doing really big stuff, he'll be wearing a motocross helmet. I don't care how uncomfortable or uncool it is, he's going to have a functional brain at 30. :)

Why You Should Always Wear a Helmet When Riding a Freestyle Scooter

Why You Should Always Wear a Helmet When Riding a Freestyle Scooter

Please wear a helmet whenever you ride a freestyle scooter. No one is too cool to wear a helmet.

I've always been a strong supporter of helmets in all action sports. It just doesn't make any sense to me to not wear a helmet because of the risk. I grew up knowing that and never doubting it. At 3 years old, I was on a motorcycle with training wheels before I could ride a bicycle. In the (responsible) motorcycle community, there's no question about wearing a helmet: you just do it. It feels weird to be on a motorcycle without a helmet. You'd never see a pro motocross rider on the track or trails without a helmet. It just doesn't happen because they understand the risk. The pro motocross racers wear helmets that meet 2 or 3 safety organization standards (DOT, ANSI, Snell), they cost as much as $600, and they replace them often. They understand the value of their head and they protect it accordingly.

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