Helmet Safety: WHAT TO WEAR WHEN YOU’RE ON WHEELS
We can’t emphasize this enough: Whenever your kids are on wheels–skating, scooting, cruising, riding, gliding, unicycling, etc–they must always wear a helmet. Every day, countless kids are saved from serious injuries or worse simply because they put on their helmets properly. So whether they’re riding in the driveway or they’re cruising around the block, make sure their heads are protected. Here’s how.
- When riding, scooting, or skating, always make sure your children wear a helmet, even if they are the passengers in a trailer bike or bike seat.
- Make sure your child’s helmet meets the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) standards. Look for the CPSC certified label on the box.
- Let children choose their own helmets. They will be more likely to wear them every time they ride. Encourage them to pick brightly-colored helmets, so that drivers can see them.
- Is your child wearing the right size helmet? If the helmet rocks forward, backward or side-to-side, it is not the right size.
- If your child is between 2 sizes, pick the bigger one. Most helmets come with extra pads to help you get a good fit.
- Replace any helmet that is damaged or has been involved in a crash. Impact crushes some of the foam. Although the damage may not be visible, a helmet that has been involved in a crash is less protective.
- You can make sure the helmet is on correctly by following these steps:
- EYES: Have the child look up while wearing the helmet. S/he should be able to see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
- EARS: Make sure the straps of the helmet form the letter "V" under your child’s ears when the straps are buckled. The strap should be snug, but comfortable.
- MOUTH: Have your child open his/her mouth wide. The helmet should hug his/her head. If not, you need to tighten the straps and make sure the buckle is flat against the skin.
- Since the straps of a helmet can get caught on things, be sure to teach your children to remove their helmets before using playground equipment, to avoid risk of strangulation. For more information on strangulation risks, go here.
Wearing a bicycle helmet can lower the risk of head injuries by up to 88%.
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital
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