Labelling of riding helmets

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A riding helmet can be marked with a variety of safety labels, such as EN1384, PAS 015, Snell or VG1.01040.

Hööks only sells certified helmets.

The European EN1384 standard is currently being revised. The temporary European standard VG1 01.040 applies until the revised standard takes effect.

Changes

There are three main differences between the new temporary standard and the old standard:

  • Improved shock absorption
  • Improved lateral impact resistance (higher resistance to ear-to-ear compression)
  • Stricter requirements to withstand penetration with sharp objects, e.g. through ventilation holes.

It is not known when the new standard will take effect. However, a new draft standard has been issued which is currently under review.

Under European regulations, it is permitted to sell helmets labelled EN1384 if they were manufactured before 4 November 2014, and to ride and compete wearing such helmets. However, after 31 December 2017, the regulations will change and these helmets will no longer be approved for use in competitions. After that date, only helmets labelled with VG1, PAS015, Snell or the new standard may be worn in competitions (the new standard's name is not yet known).

In general, insurance companies do not have specific requirements regarding type approval of riding helmets. However, it is advisable to check with your insurance company to be on the safe side.

Requirements may differ between riding schools. Ask your local riding school what rules apply. However, the Swedish Equestrian Federation has decided that all helmets worn during the Federation's riding and driving activities must comply with current requirements.

Although there is no legal obligation to wear a helmet during private riding activities, it is preferable to do so.

Some tips

  • Never buy a helmet that needs to be "worn in". A helmet must fit well from the start.
  • Always use the chin strap and tighten it securely.
  • The Swedish Consumer Agency recommends replacing a riding helmet if it has been subjected to heavy impact during a fall.
  • A helmet should also be worn during lunging, driving, long reining or free jumping.
  • Never buy a used helmet. You don't know what it has been subjected to.
  • In general, it is recommended that a helmet be replaced every 3 to 5 years.

TV doctor Göran Sjönell speaks about brain damage:

"Unlike damage to other organs, brain damage cannot be repaired. Today, many body organs that are damaged can be removed or replaced by means of advanced surgery. However, lost brain function cannot be restored. Even a light head injury can cause lifelong problems. This is why it is vital to protect your head with a helmet." (Source: Agria)

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