Riding a bicycle without training wheels has become somewhat of a right of passage for children – being seen as a source of pride and oftentimes a symbol of independence and freedom. And along with this newfound independence and freedom that our children have, it leaves us, a parents sometimes wondering how safe our children are while out riding their bikes. In this three part series on helmet safety, we will be discussing the myths vs. facts of helmet safety, the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of helmets, and lastly we will focus on some “quick-fit” tips on how to help your child not only pick out the right helmet for them, but also how to make sure that they are wearing their helmets properly.
My child doesn’t need to wear a helmet when they are riding their bike around the neighborhood.
It is important that your child wears their helmet whenever they go out on their bike. Falls and accidents can happen at any time and any place; in fact most falls occur right near home – in driveways, and on sidewalks. No matter the distance from your home, it is always best for your child to have their helmet on when on their bike.
A football helmet or hardhat will work just as well as a regulated bicycle helmet.
Each helmet is made differently. Football helmets and hardhats are specifically made to protect the head from injuries that can be sustained from being tackled or falling debris. Football helmet straps are not as reliant as those on a bicycle helmet – this will be discussed in further detail in part two on ‘how’ and ‘why.’ In contrast, bicycle helmets are made to protect your child’s head when they fall from their bike – and is the reason there are specifically placed adjustable pads on the inside.
My child does not need to wear their straps while they are riding their bike.
It is actually very important that the straps are fastened in a manner so that the helmet will not fall off their head should they fall from their bike. Clasping the straps and making sure they are on correctly is extremely important.
Knowing the facts about helmet safety will help us, as parents, keep our children safe as they go out on their bikes and seek the freedom and explore new adventures – even if they are just right outside our front door.