Summer is here! The sun is out, the skies are clear -- it’s perfect bicycle weather!
While your child may love the chance to grab their bike and roam the neighborhood with their friends, it’s important they also grab a helmet while they’re at it. These helmets reduce the risk of severe brain injury by at least 45%, but we know sometimes kids feel “too cool” to be wearing this protective gear (as less than half of kids wear them.)*
What are some ways to help your child wear a helmet? Here are some ideas:
- Establish the habit early
- Make an association with your child early on that if they ride a wheeled object (bike, scooter, skateboard, etc.) they wear a helmet.
- Lead by example
- Children learn best by following an example. Whenever you ride a bike, wear your helmet and talk openly about why you do so.
- Let your child pick their helmet
- Your child is more likely to be excited about their helmet if they’re able to pick it out. If you have family that would like to gift a helmet, suggest a gift card so your child can select their own.
- Use professional athletes that use helmets as examples
- From football to hockey, baseball to racecar driving, professional athletes all over wear helmets.When watching sporting events either on TV or in person, point out when these athletes wear helmets as protection.
- Don’t let them ride bikes without helmets
- By allowing your child to ride without helmets here and there, they are less likely to feel or understand the importance of wearing a helmet. Be consistent.
Want to learn tips on fitting a helmet correctly and why it’s important to wear a helmet? Listen to Valley Children’s Drs. Hailey Nelson and Shannon Castle discuss bicycle safety through a virtual Safe Kids Central California Lunch and Learn event, here.
About the Author
Kristina Pasma, BSN, RN, CPSI, is a trauma nurse liaison at Valley Children's Healthcare. She is also the Safe Kids Central California Coalition Coordinator and is passionate about educating children and their families about injury prevention at home and in the community.
*Reference: Safe Kids Worldwide. https://www.safekids.org/bike