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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced a recall of about 9,700 Rollerblade helmets that are primarily used in schools’ physical education programs. These helmets failed to meet a federal safety standard, and pose a risk of head injury. Consumers are advised to stop using them immediately and contacts Helmets R Us for a free replacement.

School Rollerblade Helmets Recalled

Strategic Sports Ltd of Hong Kong manufactured these recalled helmets. Top Gear Inc., d.b.a. Helmets R Us of Tacoma, Washington, imported them. They were sold at schools nationwide for use in physical education programs from September 2011 through April 2018 for about $16.

The “Skating in School” program promotes an in-line skating program for schools developed by Rollerblade and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). It promotes in-line skating activities in schools to get kids active and boost youth fitness and self-esteem. The program is in more than 1,500 schools nationwide, and helps teachers get started with the proper gear and instructions, including Rollerblade skates and protective gear, like helmets.

The recall involves Model 16, SK-501N helmets that are white and have the word “Rollerblade” printed on the side in black. “Distributed by: Helmets R Us” is printed on another label inside the helmet. Consumers should stop using the helmets immediately and contact the company for a free replacement at 877-777-9287 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or by emailing helmet.recall@helmetsrus.net. Consumers can also visit the helmetsrus.net website and click on “product recall” for more information.

Tips for Choosing the Safest Helmet

Though many people use bicycle helmets for inline skating, there are helmets made specifically for the sport that cover a larger portion of the back of the head, for maximum protection in the event of a backward fall. There are three basic types:

  • Fitness helmet: This is a more “old-school” design with an elongated style and plenty of vents, so they can keep the skater cool while skating. Once the helmet is involved in a hit, it’s no longer considered safe and needs to be replaced.
  • Skate helmet: These differ from fitness helmets in their shape and style. They are usually rounder and come down lower over the face and ears. They’re more popular among younger skaters and aggressive skaters, as they can take multiple impacts.
  • Multi-Sport helmets: These are designed to be used while participating in different sports, such as inline skating, skateboarding, and bicycling. They can take multiple impacts and harder impacts than the other two.

When looking for the best helmet, you may want to follow these tips:

  • Find a strap that has some cushioning on it for comfort, yet keeps the helmet secure.
  • Make sure the helmet fits properly—if it’s too large, it could come off during a fall.
  • Remember that black is hard to see—choose brighter colors for visibility.

Look for helmets that have passed the safety standards provided by the CPSC, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

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