Helmet Policy

Information for Clubs, Coaches and Parents

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 an appropriate time 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.  

Skate Canada is proud of its CanSkate program, the best learn-to-skate program in Canada, and we will continue to develop policies and programming that create a better and safer learn-to-skate experience for our skaters. If you would like more information on helmet use and injury prevention we recommend you visit Think First at www.thinkfirst.ca.

How should the hockey helmet fit?

Why only 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 skater is on the ice, they are protected with equipment designed for their sport or activity.

Are face masks required as well?

Face masks are not mandatory; 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.

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?

This is an additional cost for parents. Does Skate Canada provide any incentives or fee reductions for CanSkate members having to purchase a helmet?

Most hockey helmets retail for approximately $50. Many CSA approved hockey helmets are adjustable and could be used for many years of skating both within the club and recreationally outdoors during the winter months. Skate Canada does not currently offer any incentives for parents.

I am a coach. What do I do if there is a skater on the ice that should be wearing a helmet, but is not?

What other tips could you provide regarding prevention of falls and head injury?

There are several ways to avoid head injury, in addition to wearing a helmet. The following are some basic guidelines:

My club is planning to host a Bring a Friend Day and there will be participants on the ice whose skating skill level may not be known prior to the session beginning. What should our club do?

In order to ensure the safety of all of the skaters all “friends” must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet, no matter their skating ability. This will also ensure the coach(es) will be able to begin the session promptly engaging the participants which will provide a positive and fun experience for everyone.

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.