Bicycle helmets save lives and reduce the risk of minor, serious, or severe personal injuries to children. Every year 350,000 children visit the emergency room due to bicycle-related injuries. Out of those 350,000 visits, 130 children child sustain head injuries and approximately 200 children die. Wearing a helmet can decrease a child’s likelihood of sustaining injuries by as much as 85%.
It is important to purchase your child a helmet that fits him or her appropriately and is up to date with the current industry standards. Good bicycle stores will help with fitting and suit of the helmet. Both aspects are very important for child safety. Because a child’s head develops slower than his or her lower limbs and feet, it may not be necessary to purchase a new helmet every year. In fact, most helmets have removable padding to adjust to your child’s growth. The key issue to remember here is that although not all helmets are the same. Wearing a helmet is better than wearing nothing at all.
However, there are some items that all helmets should have. First, your child’s helmet should have a rear stabilizer – this cradles the back of your child’s head and assists the helmet in staying in the appropriate position. The helmet should come with chin straps and should fit snuggly so as not to move from side-to-side. As a general rule, if your child can fit two fingers between the helmet and his or her temple, the helmet is too big. If you would like to read more on this topic please see Helmets are crucial for protecting your child from sustaining bicycle-related personal injuries.
Parents and guardians should stress the importance of helmet safety. If your child has reservations about wearing a helmet because he or she thinks it is not cool to wear a helmet, let your child pick out his or her own helmet. Just make sure the fit and other safety aspects are not compromised. If you would like to read more on properly fitting your child’s helmet please see Properly Using and Fitting Bicycle Helmets – Key TIps for Safety of Children.