Be impact aware
QDo I need to replace my hat if I’ve had a fall? It doesn’t look damaged, but is there a way I can tell? Billy Tasker, London
AIt’s really important to replace your hat after an impact such as a fall, or if you’ve dropped it onto a hard surface, as it’s impossible to tell from the outside whether the hat is damaged. The exterior might look fine, but the interior may have sustained serious damage absorbing the impact. Make sure you look after your hat carefully, as each time it receives any kind of impact, some of the protective properties will be destroyed and you may later find that vital protection is not there when you need it. The expanded polystyrene interior of a hat is designed to protect your skull by absorbing the blow of an impact, but once the tiny bubbles have been burst, they cannot absorb any further blows, leaving you potentially much less protected. With care, a good hat will last for several years, but think about budgeting for a new hat when your existing one is four to five years old. Even though your hat’s safety standards might still be current, the protective liner and inner padding will gradually have started to deteriorate. Hats should fit snugly, so if there’s no longer a firm, even pressure around your entire head, it’s time to replace it.
If your hat receives an impact, it needs replacing