A big moment in the lives of children and parents is the time when kids are old enough to start riding bikes. Unlike days of old when kids traveled on streets sans helmets, the headgear has become an essential aspect of the experience.
An analysis of injury data from 2006 to 2015 reveals that more than 500 children suffered bicycle-related injuries that required treatment in emergency rooms throughout the U.S. Kids, who are more likely to wear helmets than their adult counterparts, were less likely to experience injuries to their heads and necks.
Bicycling can take many forms for children. They can traverse streets in the suburbs or sit comfortably in a trailer behind a parent. Regardless of the setting, all kids should have a bicycle helmet securely on their heads from when the ride starts until it is over.
What to look for
Not all helmets are the same. Selecting just the right helmet for your child can mean the difference between safety and severe injury. The best headwear combines protection and comfort, not to mention a design that the child wants to wear.
Hand-me-downs from older siblings may not provide the necessary protection. First and foremost, the helmet must properly fit to provide maximum protection from any type of impact. Allowing room for the child’s inevitable growth is essential as well. A helmet that is too tight and uncomfortable could lead to a child “forgetting” to wear it.
A helmet is only as effective as the chin strap attached to it. A snug fit is ideal with the ability to fit a few fingers between the child’s chin and the strap. The goal is to keep the helmet attached not during the ride but if they fall.
Serious head and traumatic brain injuries can be life-changing and sometimes fatal. A little overprotection when it comes to your child’s bike helmet can go a long way to ensuring safe and enjoyable bike rides.