Riding a bike is great fun and exercise for children,but they need to be wearing a helmet. Each year, more than 600 people in New York are injured badly enough to need hospitalization from a bicycle accident. Of the 40% of people hospitalized, almost half die from a traumatic brain injury.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are at high risk for bicycle related injuries, and account for more than half of bicycle-related injuries seen in emergency rooms.
To prevent children from suffering traumatic brain injuries, parents should follow the New York State law that requires all children under 14 to wear an approved bicycle helmet, while riding a bike, rollerblading, or riding a non-motorized scooter or skateboard.
The helmet must fit correctly to ensure the best possible protection. When worn correctly, a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.
Tips to ensure a helmet fits correctly
-Look for a helmet that has the Consumer Product Safety Commision’s (CPSC) sticker on it.
-Measure your child’s head circumference and buy a helmet sized for that measurement.
-For infants and toddlers, buy infant and toddler-specific helmets.
-Make sure the helmet sits on the top of a child’s head, not tilted back.
-Adjust the straps for a comfortable but snug fit.
-The helmet should not move side-to-side or front-to-back
-Teach children to always keep the straps buckled when riding
-Never use helmets designed for other purposes, such as snow mobiling, or motorcycling, as they may cause difficulty maintaing balance or may disrupt a child’s vision, leading to a fall or accident.