Being a kid means having the freedom to explore and push limits, but one area parents shouldn’t budge on is wearing helmets.
- Helmets reduce head injuries by 85 percent and brain injury by 88 percent
- More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in ERs for injuries related to biking than other sport
- Have children wear a helmet every time they use rollerblades, skateboards, or scooters.
- Let children choose their own helmet so they are more likely to wear it.
- Buy a bike that is the right size for the child; not one the child will “grow into.”
- Check the brakes and gears and properly inflate the tires.
- Make sure the helmet fits correctly. Buy a helmet based on head size, not age.
- Helmets should be replaced every three to five years or after one major crash.
- Wear light colored clothes so drivers can see you.
- Teach children to stop and look both ways before crossing the street. Walk your bike across the street.
- Do not allow infants under the age of one to wear a bike helmet. Their necks are not strong enough.
- Take helmets off after using wheeled equipment. Do not wear helmets while playing or on playgrounds.
- Be a good example for your children and wear a helmet, too.
5 steps to a correctly fitting helmet
Measure: Start in the middle of the forehead and measure all the way around the head.
Ears: Make sure the straps form a “V” under the ears when buckled. The straps should be snug.
Mouth: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Does the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten straps.
Eyes: With the helmet on your head, look up. You should see the bottom rim of the helmet.
Movement: The helmet should only move slightly while on your head. It should always stay in position
The Sanford Safety Shoppe offers free helmet checks and also has them available for purchase for $10.