Bike helmets are not optional equipment.
Universal use of bike helmets by children ages four to 15 would prevent
an estimated 135 to 155 deaths annually.
Helmets have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of head injury by
85 percent and the risk of brain injury by 90 percent. Nationally, only
15 percent of children bicyclists used bicycle helmets.
Here are some points to consider when purchasing or fitting a bike
helmet on a child:
The helmet should sit on the child's head so that the front rim is
just above the eyebrows. If the helmet rests on the back of the head,
the forehead, nose and chin will be exposed.
Before buckling the chinstrap, have children shake their head from
side to side. The helmet should generally stay put.
If it moves excessively, it's too big and won't protect the head
no matter how tight the chinstrap is pulled.
When the chinstrap is buckled, children should be able to open
their mouth and feel the helmet press firmly against the top of their head.
Buy a new helmet. Helmets that have suffered even a single fall or
have been exposed to heat for a long period of time (i.e., kept in the
trunk of a car) lose the cohesion that keeps the helmet intact during impact.
Don't forget to set an example by wearing a helmet yourself!
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