Be Ice Safe: Bring a Helmet to the Ice Rink

Gliding across the ice, with the cool wind whipping across a skater’s face is an exhilarating feeling. One push propels a skater down the glistening, snowy surface. Worrying about a head injury is far from a beginner skater’s mind, as many participants are not aware of the possibility of head injury from ice skating. The goals of this article are: (1) To raise awareness about potential head injury from ice skating and (2) To promote the use of helmets in beginner Learn to Skate classes and public sessions.

Common responses from skating professionals are: “It doesn’t happen that often” or “I’ve never seen it happen at my rink.” However, statistics show that ice skating has one of the highest rates of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The Facts

· Centers for Disease Control (2011) analyzed more than 173,000 emergency room visits for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries in sports and recreation in children under age 19 years.

· More than thirty categories of sports and recreation head injuries were examined. Most sports demonstrated 2-7% annual emergency room visits.

· Ice skating reported one of the highest instances of emergency room visits for TBI.

· TBI from Ice Skating are at 11.4% with more than 1,600 cases annually.

Instituting helmet policies in sports proves to be a divisive and controversial issue. Insurance companies strongly urge skating facilities to post a warning potential of risks at the entrance of the buildings. Further, they recommend facilities do not offer helmets for rent, as proper fitting, equipment inspection, and disinfection lies in the hands of the helmet owner, not necessarily the end user. However, people visiting ice skating rinks are not well-informed about the potential risks of the activity before arrival. Once they arrive at the rink, customers are generally unwilling to go home to get a helmet, or go to a store to purchase a helmet. If provided with background knowledge, ahead of their visit, guests will have the opportunity to bring safety equipment from home. The choice would lie in the consumer’s hands. Accident data supports the need to make this change. The first step is educating recreational participants through a public awareness campaign.

Purpose and Standards of Helmets

Helmets protect the head by reducing the rate at which the skull and the brain are accelerated and decelerated during an impact, effectively acting as a shock absorber between the force of the impact and the brain. By spreading concentrated forces of impact over the protective foam, and thus spreading the force over the wearer’s scalp and skull, a good helmet provides the brain extra time and space needed to reduce injury. Instead of the impact concentrating on one point, it is spread across the wearer’s head.

Most helmets are made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam with a hard plastic shell. The shell is designed to slide on rough surfaces and hold the foam together after initial impact. Upon impact, the polystyrene liner of the helmet crushes thereby dissipating energy over a wider area. Similar to a shipping carton, the outer box may dent, but the EPS foam “packing peanuts” protect the contents of the box from breaking. Once the foam in a helmet is crushed, it does not recover, therefore a new helmet should be purchased.

The sponge pads inside a helmet are for comfort and fit, not for impact protection. When purchasing a helmet, the person who will be wearing it should be present when making the purchase to insure the helmet fits properly. Helmets have different levels of protection and are rated for levels of impacts and forces. The helmet ratings are determined by its ability to absorb and dissipate the energy of an impact – regardless of the person’s speed. Cycling, skiing, ice hockey, and football have made changes in safety guidelines based on the trends and statistics of head injuries in their sports.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission offers guidelines for the type of helmet to wear for different activities. Although a helmet standard does not exist specifically for ice skating, until such standards are written, wearing one of the listed types of helmets may be preferable to wearing no helmet at all. For ice skating, the recommended helmets are: ASTM F1447; Snell B-90A, B-95, N-94.

Positive Effect of Sports Involvement

An ice skating rink is a place for children and adults to visit on a regular basis, during their leisure time, to engage in positive, fun exercise. This may not mean becoming an expert skater, but becoming competent on the ice that he/she can have a positive social experience and “Be Ice Safe.” In order for this to happen, the participants should learn to skate safely and with the proper technique. Once the skill is learned, he/she will continue to return to the facility with their friends. Having a positive place to go during leisure time provides people with a fun, progressive outlet to relieve stress.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Data supports the need to promote ice safety, similar to pool safety and bicycle safety campaigns. Here are the steps:

· Formally adopt a helmet standard for ice skating in conjunction with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, ASTM, and Snell;

· Develop campaign partners in corporations, non-profit organizations, and the State/Local governments;

· Educate ice-rink industry professionals including coaches and rink management

· Include helmet language guidelines in codes of conduct and liability waivers;

· Enlist the assistance of celebrity ice skaters to bring awareness to the effort;

· Engage in a media campaign including television, radio, print & social media public service announcements;

· Offer helmet informational fliers and marketing tables at Learn to Skate and public sessions at local ice rinks

Support from professional coaches and rink staff are key to the success of the campaign, as they can spread the Be Ice Safe message around their ice rinks. Reducing the incidents of head injury will improve the overall safety of the sport. As safety improves, more people will participate in the sport of ice skating.

Migraine Relief with Ice Remedy

When you have a migraine headache – or a loved one has – you want a migraine remedy. You visited your physician before, and you know his advice was to take over-the-counter pain medication and rest in a dark room, but that isn’t enough. You want to get relief sooner.

One of your friends suggests getting migraine relief with ice, and you want to know more. What is a migraine remedy that uses ice?

Cryotherapy – the Ice Remedy

At the Department of Neurology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Lawrence D. Robbins, M.D. decided to study whether or not cryotherapy (treatment with ice) was effective as a migraine remedy. Dr. Robbins enlisted 45 migraineurs in his study and, when they experienced an episode, gave them only a cold head wrap as a migraine remedy. Here are some of Dr. Robbins’ findings.

* 35.5 percent of the 45 patients said that, as a migraine remedy, the ice was not at all effective.

* 29 percent of them said the ice remedy was a little bit effective for migraine relief.

* Cryotherapy was fairly effective for 26.5 percent of those participating.

* Only 9 percent said the cold head wrap was completely effective as a migraine remedy.

Robbins, Lawrence D., M.D (1989), Cryotherapy for Headache, Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 29 (9), 598-600.

If you were among the 35.5 percent who said the ice treatment was useless as a migraine remedy, you might never try it again. Nevertheless, as a result of his cryotherapy study, Dr. Robbins says: “You have a 50-50 chance of getting some pain relief within three minutes of applying a soft, cold ice pack wrapped in a towel to your head.”

Reasoning Behind the Ice Remedy

It is clear that the ice migraine remedy works for many people. It is clear, too, that it works to a degree most of the time. Perhaps a better understanding of how it works will help others test cryotherapy.

During a migraine episode, the blood vessels in the head tend to dilate – open more widely. They may become swollen with blood, causing pressure on the nerves surrounding them. The nerves begin to send pain signals, and you sense a migraine.

To get migraine relief with ice, you surround the head with a cold wrap, gradually cooling the blood vessels. As they cool, they become constricted, and return to normal size. This can lessen blood flow to the head, and reduce pressure on the nerves, providing a migraine remedy.

Migraine Ice

A relatively new product to hit the market, “Migraine Ice” headache pads are advertised as giving “instant cooling, soothing relief” that lasts, sometimes up to 4 hours. The pads are convenient, and require no refrigeration. Those who have frequent migraines can keep the pads in a desk or locker at work for a ready migraine remedy. To use, you simply remove the pad from its pouch, peel off a protective film, and apply the pad to the back of your neck.

Soft Ice

Another convenient product that claims to provide migraine relief with ice is Soft Ice. This is available as either a neck wrap or a head wrap. Since this product delivers comfortable cold therapy that chills the head or neck, it may be just what you need as a migraine remedy.

Traditional Ice Pack

There are many brands of ice available to use as a migraine remedy, and most do the job equally well.

Obviously, you do not need a commercial cold wrap, though, to get migraine relief with ice. A simply, traditional ice pack will do as well. An ice pack is a waterproof bag with a cap at the top that allows you to fill the bag with ice. Once full, the bag is capped, and the ice pack can be applied to neck, forehead, or other parts of the head.

Alternative Ice Pack

If you are away from home, and do not have access to an ice pack, an alternative ice pack can be made with crushed ice and a towel. Simply place the crushed ice on the towel, and fold it to contain the ice.

To best use your ice migraine remedy, go to a dark room. Place the ice pack on your neck or head and rest.

CAUTION: To avoid frostbite, keep commercial cold packs in place for only 20 minutes at a time. If the skin begins to feel the least bit numb, remove the cold pack immediately.

This migraine headache information is for educational purposes only. Please seek advice from your physician for any migraine headache.

Why it Makes Sense to Invest in a Commercial Ice Machine

It makes sense to invest in a commercial ice machine for your restaurant, bar or other type of business for a variety of reasons. In the end, you will save money over having to buy and transport premade ice for your patrons and you will be better able to meet the demand for ice in their beverages without worrying about running out of ice during peak business hours. Of course you want to make a wise decision as a business owner, so it is important to consider your options carefully before purchasing a commercial grade ice machine.

Any food service business relies heavily on beverage purchases and having enough ice on hand is a must to be successful. Running out of ice for beverages will create a lot of unhappy customers who may never return to your establishment and are highly likely to give your business a bad reputation as they share their discontent with others. This is a situation that is very unfortunate and can easily be avoided simply by purchasing your own ice machine to make sure that there is always enough ice on hand to handle your customers’ demand.

Today’s commercial ice machines are smaller than those in the past so they don’t take up too much precious space in your kitchen. If this was a factor in not purchasing an ice machine in the past, it is definitely time to reconsider. Today’s machines also have a higher ice making capacity so they are far more able to keep up with the demand even during busy periods. Clean, clear ice makes your drinks taste better and your customers will notice the difference and come away with a better overall impression of your establishment.

Buying a commercial ice machine for your food service business is probably one of the best investments you can make. Ice is vital to keeping your customers satisfied with their beverages and when they are satisfied with their beverages they are likely to order more which increases their bill and helps you make more money. Over time, your machine will pay for itself, but meanwhile it is important to choose one that is best for your business. You can easily view a variety of types and brands online so that you can make an educated decision.

Pocket Consoles Are Latest Educational Toys

A new generation of hand-held electronic devices have entered the children’s educational toy and game market.

Apart from Nintendo’s DS and Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP), hand-held electronic devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and readers (characterised by Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad ranges) have so far been made for and marketed to adults and teens.

Now a new generation of pocket consoles have been launched specifically for chldren, including Fisher-Price’s iXL Learning System, Leapfrog’s Leapster Explorer and VTech’s MobiGo.

Available in Green or Pink, Leapster features a touch-screen display and built-in stylus, and retails for less than 40.

Aimed at children from toddler and preschool age to nine years old, Leapster features educational games covering subjects from art and music to geography and maths.

Games come in the form of slot-in 64 Megabyte cartridges, but you can also buy and download software ‘apps’ called ‘Leaplets’ from an online shop by connecting the device, with it’s 512Mb internal storage memory, to a PC or Mac computer.

Leaplets come in various forms: e-books to teach vocabulary and spelling, videos to teach counting, language flash cards, and games.

Cartridge games include Mr Pencil Saves Doodleburg, a kind of electronic children’s craft kit game based around drawing, writing letters, numbers and shapes.

Disney Princess: Pop-Up Story Adventure teaches linguistic phonics skills, story comprehension and musical pitch.

The Jewel Train Leaplet teaches logic and reasoning skills by challenging kids to piece together a train set to reach a particular destination.

Older kids will like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which manages to work geometry and fractions into the action.

Other games include popular franchises Dora the Explorer and Toy Story 3.

MobiGo, which features a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard in addition to a touch-screen display retails for 50. It has a headphone socket for no-noise fun, but be warned – it runs on 4 AA batteries, so invest in rechargables if you don’t want to spend a fortune.

Game cartridges go for 17 and the device can hold up to four downloadable educational mini-games, most of which you must pay for.

Cartridge titles include Dora the Explorer, Toy Story 3 and Mr Men and Little Miss, but the console comes with the six-game Touch & Learn Game Pack.

Touch and Learn includes Wild Fun, where kids must choose the odd one out from a set of animals displayed on the screen.

In Space Challenge, players tap on spaceships to complete number sequences and addition problems.

Shooting Gallery uses the keyboard to type letters matching those on cardboard duck targets.

Ice Escape is a logical children’s puzzle game where the player moves ice blocks to make a bridge for a little penguin.

In Fantastic Forest, kids help a squirrel leap from tree to tree by drawing lines and geometric shapes on the screen, while in Music Maestro players improvise music by tapping on the screen.