A helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment your child can have when riding a bicycle. As many as 88% of all brain injuries sustained by cyclists in accidents could have been prevented by wearing a helmet. Clinical Pediatrics magazine reported that a child who sustains a brain injury from a bicycle accident is three times more likely to require hospitalization, and six times more likely to die from his injuries.
But it’s not enough to simply buy a helmet. It needs to be properly adjusted for the right fit, and worn each time your child rides. To make sure your child’s helmet fits right and is being worn correctly, remember these rules:
1. The helmet should fit snugly. It should not rock side to side on top of your head. Most new helmets come with sizing pads that you can mix and match for the proper fit.
2. The helmet should be level on your child’s head, and cover most of the forehead, just leaving one or two finger widths above the eyebrows.
3. The straps should form a “Y” around the ears, and should buckle under the chin. The straps should be snug under the chin, so that no more than two finers can fit tightly under the strap.
4. Once the helmet is adjusted, have your child open his mouth wide, as if they were yawning. The helmet should pull down on his head. If it doesn’t, adjust it again.
If your child has an accident and hits his head or the helmet gets damages, the helmet should be replaced.
Remember that a bicycle helmet is only for bicycling. Wearing a bicycle helmet while playing sports or on a playground can actually cause more injuries than it can prevent.
Finally, you must teach by example. Always wear an example when you ride, and encourage the same smart behavior in others, especially your children.
The BIKE SHOP sells certified helmets for children and adults at very reasonable prices. Come on in and we’ll help you get the fit just right.