How to choose the right helmet for your child
Now is the time when the kids are outside to enjoy the good weather. When you rummage around the garage for their bikes, scooters, skates, or skateboards, be sure to take the time to find that helmet for them as well.
According to Safe Kids, nearly 50 children visit emergency rooms with an injury from bikes, scooters, skates or skateboards every hour. Although helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 88%, up to 50% of children under the age of 15 do not wear them.
Some of the most common reasons why:
- They are not cool.
- Their friends don’t wear theirs.
- They are not doing well or are uncomfortable.
Here are some tips for your child to wear their helmet when you are away:
- Let them choose and make their own. If they like the way it looks, they are more likely to wear it.
- Get the right size and fit. A properly fitted helmet is more likely to be worn than a helmet that is too small or too large.
- It should rest two fingers’ width above the eyebrows, covering the forehead.
- It should be well adjusted. Make sure he doesn’t move side-to-side or front-to-back on your child’s head, even if he’s shaking his head.
- The chin strap should be snug.
- Wear your helmet to set a good example. Your child is more likely to wear their helmet when you are away if you are always wearing yours.
Make sure your helmet has a CPSC sticker. This means that it meets the rules of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you are having trouble adjusting your child’s helmet, most bike shops will help you adjust the fit for you.
Always replace a helmet if it has been hit in an accident or even fell hard on the sidewalk. A bicycle helmet is only designed to withstand the force of a single impact. Additionally, it’s a good idea to replace a helmet after five years or after a long period of sun exposure – the sun can break down interior components.
If you cannot afford a helmet for your child, some programs provide free helmets for children. Check with local insurance companies, fire and police departments, children’s hospitals, health insurers, or other non-profit foundations.