Question: How do I choose a protective helmet for my child that experiences seizures?
– From Carol in Chicago, Illinois.

To determine the best type of helmet, begin by thinking about your child’s seizure behaviors. If your child falls forward, a helmet with a face guard, face bar, or visor is needed. If your child falls backward, the back of the head needs protection. A good helmet also needs a chinstrap that can be adjusted so that it is snug but not uncomfortable. No matter what direction your child falls, the helmet should absorb the impact, so it will be useless if it does not remain securely on the head.

Sports Helmets
Sometimes a bicycle helmet, boxing helmet, football helmet or hockey helmet may be adequate to handle certain types of seizure activity, however you must remember that these types of helmets are not made especially to protect people with medical needs. Make sure that you conduct your own research on these helmets as sales people at sports stores are not trained to consult on these types of situations. If you do go with one of these, we recommend hockey helmets (CCM and Bauer) as one of the best choices. They offer maximal protection, come in a variety of colors, fit all age groups (except infants) and can be purchased and fitted in any sporting goods store.

Special Needs Soft Shell HelmetMedical needs helmets are made especially to protect people who experience seizure activity, including very small children. Some of them come in choices of style or color that may be more appealing to those who don’t want to look like a hockey player. Lightweight, hard-foam helmets made good protection. Many of these helmets come in a wide variety of styles that can be customized for individuals with seizures. Custom-made infant-sized helmets can also be ordered.

Other models provide full coverage when a falling impact may be probable such as a helmet with a face bar or helmet with a full face shield.

Do you have experience protecting from seizures with special needs helmets? What works best for you?