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Parents, it’s time to teach your kids the importance of helmets

A boy wearing a helmet rides a scooter.
Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

As a parent, you already know how important your child’s safety is. One of the most important ways to keep your kid safe is to encourage the use of a helmet when they rollerblade, skateboard and bike. Helmets are the best first line of defense and can help protect your child’s head.

But if your kid is a little hesitant about wearing one or just doesn’t know why they need to wear one, here’s how to teach them about the importance of helmets:

Why do we need helmets?

Let’s look at some statistics.

In 2015, more than 426,000 kids were sent to emergency rooms nationwide for injuries related to wheeled sports. Although fractures were the most common reason for coming in, serious head injuries made up about 11 percent of the emergency room visits.

Helmets provide vital protection to the head and the brain. They can help lower the risk of serious injury by reducing the impact of force to the head if your child is in an accident.

How do I get my child to wear a helmet?

It has become more accepted now to wear a helmet, especially since professional athletes are always shown wearing their helmets on TV.

The challenge is consistency and example. Establish a “No helmet, no ride” rule.

You might also want to consider keeping a couple extra helmets on hand if your child often invites friends over to play.

How do I size the helmet for my child?

Helmets must fit properly. If they’re too small, they don’t protect well. Or if they’re too big, they can slide down, impair vision and potentially cause injury.

Sizing systems vary from company to company. Bring your child with you to the store and try on the helmet.

Let your kid pick out the most appealing color and style that they like. They’re more likely to wear it if they can choose what it looks like.

Once you have a general size correct, use the self-stick foam padding that comes with the helmet to adjust to a custom fit. Finally, adjust the straps so that they form a “V” around the ears.

Always remember that the right helmet should be used for the right activity. A bike helmet should not be worn during football practice just like a hockey helmet should not be worn to ride a bike.

But what about the cost?

If helmets are too expensive, there are many programs available for obtaining lower cost helmets. Visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute at www.bhsi.org for details on low-cost helmet programs around the country.


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