Use Your Head: Why Helmets Are Important For Kids - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on May 03, 2016

Use Your Head: Why Helmets Are Important For Kids

Use Your Head: Why Helmets Are Important For Kids

It’s estimated helmets could prevent
75 percent of fatal head injuries
children sustained riding bikes.

Now that winter is over, the sun is out and the temperature has warmed, your kids are undoubtedly spending a lot of their free time playing outside. While riding bikes and scooters, skateboarding and roller skating are all great ways for kids to have fun outside and get exercise, it’s important that they wear protective equipment while doing so. Especially helmets.

Kids may gripe about helmets not being “cool” or say they’re hot or uncomfortable, but they really are crucial for protecting what is arguably the most important part of the body: the brain. Because children’s brains are constantly changing, growing and learning, it’s especially important to protect them.

It’s been estimated that helmets could have prevented 75 percent of fatal head injuries and 85 percent of non-fatal traumatic brain injuries children sustained while riding their bikes. Accidents happen, but simply wearing a helmet can drastically reduce the chance of your child experiencing a serious injury.

Make Sure It Fits

Although simply wearing a helmet is important, making sure the helmet is the right size and fits your child can ensure your kid’s noggin is kept safe. A helmet with the right size and fit provides the highest level of head protection.

Here’s how to make sure it fits.

  1. With the helmet on his or her head, they should be able to look up and see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above their eyebrows.
  2. Make sure the helmet’s straps form a “V’ under their ears when it’s buckled. The straps should be snug yet comfortable – not too tight.
  3. Ask your child to open his or her mouth as wide as they can. The helmet should feel snug on their head when they do this. If it doesn’t, tighten the straps and make sure the buckle is flat against their skin.

The helmet should sit on top of their head in a level position and shouldn’t slide forward, backward or side to side. And its strap should always be buckled, but not too tight. You should also make sure your child’s helmet meets the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) standards – it will say if it does on the box or packaging when you buy it.

No matter your child’s age or size, make sure you buy them a helmet that fits them now – not one they’ll grow into. Bonus tip: let your child help pick out their helmet when it’s time to buy a new one, they may put up less of a fight when you remind them to wear it before hopping on their bike.

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