Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Attention Parents-here's an important lesson to remember about bicycle safety before you send your children out to ride their bikes. Bicycle helmets are so important to children's safety that parents should require them to wear one, especially those children of elementary-school age. Just how necessary are bicycle helmets? Here are some helmet facts according to the Minnesota Safety Council: Bicycle-related head injuries cause: Two-thirds of bicycle related deaths each year One-third of non-fatal bicycle related injuries each year More than 600,000 emergency department visits each year Universal helmet use could: Save one life each day Prevent one head injury every four minutes Who is at greatest risk?: Children ages 5-15 experience the largest percentage of bicycle deaths and injuries. The death rates for bicyclists ages 5-15 is nearly twice the rate for all bicyclists. Finding the Right Helmet and the Right Fit: Look for a label or sticker stating the helmet meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard. Let children pick out their own helmets. Choose a style and color they'll want to wear. Find the smallest helmet that will fit snugly on your head. Wear it level on the head, about two fingers width from the eyebrows. The helmet shouldn't tip back or forward and you shouldn't be able to move it in any direction. The chin strap should be securely fastened. Two other features to consider are ventilation and the hardness of the outer shell. In general, the more ventilation there is, the more expensive the helmet will be, but ventilation also enhances comfort. If a helmet is uncomfortable, a child is less likely to wear it. A harder outer shell protects the inner liner and adds to a helmet's overall durability. Prices for helmets vary a lot. You don't need an expensive helmet for protection The important part is to wear a helmet. Encourage-no, require-your children to wear helmets while they are bicycling. It could save their lives.