The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) will update its helment standards in January 2016. While this is a regular and planned update, there's been some concern about what the new standard will mean for helmets currently on the market (and in tack trunks and on heads)!
Here's what the Safety Equipment Institue (SEI), the independent organization that certifies helmets to ASTM standards, has to say:
- The change to the ASTM standard will have minimal impact on current helmet design.
- Any helmets currently labeled to meet ASTM standards can continue to be sold, and will not lose their certification.
- Just because the SEI will start to certify helmets to a new standard starting January 2016 doesn't mean helmets that are certified to current standards are no good.
- Helmets currently on the US market meet the USEF requirements for protective headgear and are the best that are available today.
- The USEF Safety Committee is not anticipating any rule change regarding protective headgear.
That means there's no cause for concern with regards to purchasing a helmet that meets current ASTM standards!
When should I replace my helmet?
It's important know when to replace your helmet so you can stay safe! Replace it:
- After a fall in which it touches the ground. Even if it appears undamaged, you should replace it; helmets are designed to absorb the energy of an impact through partial deconstruction of the helmet. You may not be able to see interior damage!
- When it turns 5 years old. Count this from the date of purchase of the helmet. Over time, aging helmet materials degrade from body heat, moisture, and general use.
- If the fit becomes loose. If your helmet begins to feel loose for any reason, replace it with one that fits properly!
Visit horseofcourse.com to choose your new helmet.