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Do Not Do This To Your Helmet
 By Winniefield Park   •   12th Oct 2018   •   274 views   •   0 comments


Each time we ride, our helmet is protecting our heads. To make sure we get the optimum protection throughout its lifespan, we need to give it a little respect. Helmets donít take much maintenance, but there are some things you shouldn't do to your helmet.

Donít forget to replace your helmet every few years. Ummm... I forget how old my show helmet is, and thatís a bad thing. Most manufacturers recommend replacing them at least every five years. If you use your helmet daily, it may need replacing sooner. And donít put it in a bag of stuff youíre going to send to the used clothing store. Put it right in the garbage, or recycle it according to the manufacturerís suggestions.

Donít clean the inside or outside with harsh cleaners, disinfectants or deodorizers. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for freshening up and cleaning your helmet. Even Ďorganicí and Ďnaturalí cleaners can do a number on the helmet materials. Troxel has some good guidelines for helmet care that help you learn to clean and preserve your helmet.

Donít clean your helmet in the dishwasher. Iíve seen this idea on a few web pages and admit itís appealing. But, harsh soap, lots of water pressure sloshing around and high heat might not be so good for your helmet. Instead, clean it using the instructions from the manufacturer.

Donít leave your helmet where it will be exposed to extreme temperatures. Both high heat and cold are not good for the materials in your helmet. Leaving your helmet in the back window of your car in summer or leaving it to freeze for days on end might shorten its life.

Donít stick things to it. I have one of those cutting machines that will cut adhesive vinyl, and do I ever want to bling out my bicycle, riding and ski helmet. But, manufacturers recommend not putting stickers on any helmet in case the adhesive damages the shell. If you want color or sparkle, a helmet cover is a better idea.

Donít pad it up or alter if it doesnít fit. I actually used to do this with a helmet that was a bit too loose. I tucked folded strips of fabric inside the satin liner so the helmet wouldnít slip around on my head. What I should have done is bought a helmet that fit in the first place. I also remember hand sewing the lining and harness back into one after a dog chewed it. Bad idea. Donít modify the lining, harness or anything else on your helmet. Doing so could mean it will be less protective.

Donít hang your helmet by the harness. This can pull the harness askew. And, itís easy for something to be hung over top of it which may strain or damage it. Instead, store it in a bag or hat box, upside down, so the brim isnít damaged, and in a place where the temperature is steady, such as your house.

Donít leave your helmet near a new puppy or dog that likes to chew.

Donít pick it out because of its looks. I like pretty stuff, so bling appeals to me. But fit and comfort is much more important. Chances are, with such a wide selection of helmets available, youíll be able to find a helmet that suits your style and fits well too.

Donít spray your helmet with bug spray. Some of that stuff has been known to damage plastics, so you donít want that on the shell of your helmet. Instead, put on a helmet cover, and attach fake dragonflies to scare off bugs.

Donít just borrow someone elseís helmet. I know how my helmet has been cared for, how itís been used and whether itís hit the ground. I donít know what that dusty helmet hanging in the back corner of the tack room has been through.

Donít substitute a riding helmet for any other kind. Wear a helmet approved for horseback riding only. Donít think a hockey, football, bicycle or snowboard helmet will do. While these helmets might provide Ďbetter-than-nothingí protection, riding helmets are made to withstand the impacts riders might go through.

Donít wear it if it has taken a hard impact. Your helmet may not look damaged. Damage may not be easily seen and slight fractures or Ďbruisesí to the materials may not be apparent. But any damage will make your helmet less safe if it takes another impact. Seriously, your head is worth spending the money on, so just get a new helmet.

Donít leave it in the tack room when you go riding. A helmet that is in the tack room or the trunk of your car isnít going to protect your head if you come off your horse.
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