Summer is here! That means kids are on break from school and ready to enjoy some playtime outside. Riding a bike, skateboard, or scooter is often the transportation of choice during the summer. What’s the best way for kids to be safe on two (or four) wheels? Wearing a helmet!
Kids and adults alike need to wear helmets and many states have laws making it mandatory to wear one. There are no laws about skateboards, longboards, roller skates, or scooters, but they can be equally dangerous. A simple fall on concrete can cause broken bones, a concussion, or injuries that are even more serious. The brain is the most precious organ in the body and a helmet helps protect it. Broken bones can be repaired; however, brain damage is permanent and affects your quality of life.
How Does a Helmet Protect You?
Helmets protect the face, head, and brain from injury if you were to fall down or get into an accident. Accidents do happen and wearing a helmet reduces the risk of serious injury and prevents trips to the emergency room.
Helmets are made of a hard shell exterior with foam supports inside. A strap keeps it fastened on your head. If you crash, the foam on the inside helps cushion the blow and reduces the impact to your head and brain. The hard shell outside will skid along the ground so your neck isn’t jerked around. Helmets need to be replaced after every bad crash.
Kids should always wear a helmet when using anything with wheels.
Wear Your Helmet Safely
Make sure it fits. If the helmet is too big on your child’s head or too loose, it can slide around. Make sure that strap fits snugly around the chin. Have your kids do the head-shake test before they ride and adjust if needed.
Wear it the correct way. The helmet should cover the forehead and not tip backward. The strap should go over the ears and be fastened at the chin. Don’t wear a hat or headphone underneath a helmet.
Take care of it. Store the helmet when it’s not being used and don’t throw it around. A damaged helmet can’t protect you as well. If you take a fall, replace your helmet before your next ride.
Use reflective stickers. Drivers can see reflective stickers and will know to slow down around bikes. Consider choosing a brightly colored helmet that is also easy to see.