Since many children will receive bicycles for Christmas, we thought this was timely information. Enjoy!
Sports are the most frequent cause of injury for adolescents, and each year more than 3.5 million kids suffer sports- and recreational-related injuries.
However, by equipping your child with the proper plastic safety gear, you can help reduce their risk of injury by 46%. Did you know that according to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI), establishing the helmet habit as soon as your child begins riding a tricycle is the best way to ensure that it will become a habit for a lifetime which can reduce the risk of head injuries by 85 percent? In order to ensure your child is biking safely Plastics Make it Possible compiled the following to help your child select their perfect biking helmet:
Be sure the plastic helmet fits right — if it’s too big or too small it may be uncomfortable for your child and it is not as effective.
Plastic bicycle helmet fit guidelines:
- It should be snug and fit flat on top of your head when in place.
- There should only be one to two inches between the eyebrows and the ridge of the helmet.
- It should not obstruct your vision.
- It should have a tight (snug) chinstrap that is centered and always kept snapped.
Bike in Style
Let your child participate in picking out their own plastic helmet. They come in a variety of cool colors, patterns and even styles, which allow kids to express their own individual sense of style. Kids are more likely to wear a helmet if they like the looks of it!
Look for a helmet made with hard ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) or fiberglass, which are hard and crack-resistant.
Know when to dump it.
If you’ve been in a crash, it’s time to find a new helmet. Helmets that have only been in minor fender-benders can weaken significantly and not be able to protect in the same way again. Write “crashed” on the helmet in permanent marker, and kiss it goodbye.
Beyond the helmet there is a variety of safety gear available for kids. As they progress to bicycles, scooters, and skateboards, essential equipment like wrist, elbow, and knee guards will help keep kids safe on the go. Tough plastics in protective athletic gear help prevent injuries from falling and crashing. Research for some of these activities shows that wearing wrist guards could reduce the number of wrist injuries by 87 percent, wearing elbow pads could reduce the number of elbow injuries by 82 percent, and wearing knee pads could reduce the number of knee injuries by 32 percent.
Protect your kids’ heads—buy helmets to go with those new bikes!
Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons.