October 18, 2011–We want to share some very important notes we’ve gathered for parents, family members and caregivers of young children about why children should wear helmets when using a riding toy or riding a bicycle. The statistics are stunning. According to Nemours’ Kids Health, each year approximately 300,000 children pay a visit to the emergency room due to bicycle-related injuries, and at least 10,000 of those visits are for injuries that require more than one day’s stay in the hospital. Some of these head injuries are so serious that children die. http://kidshealth.org/kid/watch/out/bike_safety.html.
Properly wearing a helmet can save a child’s life in the case of a fall or crash while riding a bicycle or other riding toy. Many head injuries can be prevented simply by wearing a helmet. If your young child rides a bicycle, uses a skate board or other riding toys where a fall or a crash could occur, please put a helmet on your child’s head. Little heads need protection! Kids Health warns parents, “Head injuries may mean brain injuries.” And suffering brain injuries can be life-changing for both children and parents.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that a helmet should fit snug and be flat on top of the head. It should have a buckled chin strap and should not move up and down or wobble from side to side. If your child has a helmet that may have been in an accident already, the protection of the helmet may be compromised, so it’s best to replace it. http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/?s=Helmet+safety+for+children
One more caution, according to the CPSC, helmets belong on the head when riding a bicycle, but not when playing on a playground. Please teach your child to remove their helmet before he or she is on a playground. Bike helmets can get stuck on playground equipment, creating a strangulation hazard. The CPSC also says that wearing a properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent. That’s significant!