More than 540,000 people are treated annually in emergency departments for bicycle related injuries. Child under the age of 14 are five times more likely to be injured in bicycle-related crash than older riders. Seventy percent of fatal bike crashes involve head injuries, yet only 20-25 percent of riders wear a helmet.
Here is some helpful information about bike helmets:
- Establish the helmet habit early.
Have your children wear helmets as soon as they begin using ride-on toys, so it becomes a habit at an early age.
Children learn best by observing you. Whenever you ride your bike, wear your helmet.
- Talk to your children about protecting their heads.
Tell your children bikes are vehicles, not toys, and that most professional athletes use helmets when participating in sports.
- Remind them it’s the law!
All children under age 16 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in Connecticut, and it is the parent or guardian, not the child, who gets the warning for noncompliance.
- Don’t let children ride their bikes unless they wear their helmets.
Be consistent. If you allow your children to ride occasionally without their helmets, they won’t believe that helmet use is really important.
A bicycle helmet should fit comfortably and snugly. It should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not be able to rock from side to side. The straps must always be secured.
Bike riding is a fun activity that helps keep kids fit. We need to keep it safe as well. Remember, use your head, wear a helmet.
Resources: http://safekids.org/ and Brain Injury Association of Connecticut