We encourage kids to be active and sometimes that includes riding scooters, skateboards and bicycles. But are they properly protected when enjoying these activities?
A recent national survey asked parents of children ages 4 to 13 about safety when they go riding. About 59% of parents said their kids always wear a helmet when bicycling. Forty-two percent said the same for skateboarding, and 39% for sailing around on a scooter.
Health experts say it’s crucially important that all kids — and adults! — wear proper helmets when participating in these activities. This also means that people should be using helmets when riding one of the ride-sharing scooters that have popped up across cities nationwide. A helmet absorbs the force of a crash to prevent head injuries and can protect the brain during a fall. It’s especially important for children to wear helmets because their brains are still developing.
When purchasing a helmet, make sure there is a sticker from the Consumer Product Safety Commission inside it. This label means the helmet was manufactured to meet voluntary safety standards.
To ensure a helmet fits, check that the straps are even and form a “Y” that ends at the bottom of the ear lobe. The helmet fits if it doesn’t move when you try to pull it from side-to-side. Finally, when you or your child open their mouth with the helmet fastened, it should feel as if the helmet is slightly pushing down on the head.
So, before you tell your child to get outside and ride, be certain they have proper head gear. It could just save their life.