Riding a bicycle is considered to be one of the best joyful moments in life as it can be a lot of accomplishment and confidence to your little one. During school-age, bike accidents is the second leading cause of serious injury among children.
To avoid such dangerous instances, it is necessary to undertake the concerned precautions. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of an accident by 85%. Most of the regions such as Seattle, Tacoma, and many more cities have made it mandatory to wear a helmet while cycling. But there are countries which do not follow such rules, creating a higher risk for accidents among kids. This needs to be changed.
Why should your children wear a helmet?
While cycling, an unpredicted fall can happen at any time and at any place. Severe bicycle accidents can cause brain injuries and can also prove to be fatal. When a child wears a perfectly fit helmet, it can reduce such deadly risks. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Children belonging to the age group of 5-14 frequently visit hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with bicycles”.
Parents should ensure that they buy new helmets as the child grows up. It is not a difficult or impossible task to wear a helmet while riding. It is essential that a helmet should fit in properly in order to offer the highest level of head protection.
How to wear a bike helmet?
- Size: When you buy a helmet, make sure it is the perfect size for your little one. Also, make sure that it does not move sideways. Today, sizing pads are easily available with the purchase of every new helmet. You can utilize these pads to get a secured fitting. You can also remove these extra pads once your child grows up. In case, if you get the universal fit rings rather than the sizing pads, alter the ring size to accommodate easily on the child’s head. Loosening of the ring can cause a poor equip, which indicates that the helmet is not perfect for your child. For the beginners, you can move out the entire top pad or use the slimmest ones. Try to line-up the side fitting pads by using thicker pads.
- Exact spot: The helmet should be placed in such a way that it should be below your forehead. There should be a small width, for example – one or two finger space, above your eyebrow. Your kid should be able to look above and he/she should be able to see the front rim of your bicycle helmet on their own head.
- Side Straps: The left and right straps should form a shape of ‘Y’ and should meet right below your ear. The side straps might be easier to adjust when you put off the helmet. In order to prevent slipping, roll the small rubber band close to the side straps. You can wear the helmet and tighten the buckle. When you look upward, the front rim should be barely visible to your eye. The chin strap should be comfortable against the chin so that when the kid opens their mouth wide, you feel the helmet pull down a little bit. You should line-up the length of the rear strap and the length of the front straps.
- Chin Strap: Firstly, buckle the strap placed in the chin position. Stiffen the chin strap until you feel comfortable.
At the end, comes a final check wherein you have to look after several other aspects.
- Does the helmet fit perfectly? If the helmet comes down from your head, make sure to replace or adjust it properly.
- Is your helmet placed in the right position? When you place the helmet, make sure that you could see the person in front of you. If you can’t see, then unbuckle and tighten the side straps and readjust the strap placed on the chin and test once more.
- Do you feel that your helmet lean forward and cover your eye? If it happens, then again re-tighten and adjust the chin strap. Before going ahead, do test it.
- Does your helmet move while you shake your head? To avoid such a problem, you might need to adjust the sizing pads or readjust the universal fit ring.
- Spin the rubber band straight down to buckle. All the four straps must go through the tiny rubber band and it should be placed close to the buckle. This can avoid the buckle from a possible slipping.
You should be careful and avoid a situation where the helmet interferes with the riders view and hearing ability. These sensors are critical for safety and control. Let’s take a look at the basic things to remember while fitting the helmet.
- Loosen the rear retention device
- Place the helmet flat onto the head
- Tighten the rear retention device to fit comfortably
- Adjust the triangle of the straps so that the joining of the straps is placed below the ears.
- Adjust the under-chin strap to give a comfortable feel.
You should replace the child’s helmet from time to time. You might wonder why one should do so?
- Your child’s head can outgrow the size of the helmet.
- Your kid has crashed the helmet.
- The helmet has been dropped on to a sharp or concrete surface ( even a small destruction to the helmet can affect the child in an adverse way)
While cycling, the other safety considerations which need to be observed by the parents are in the following areas – extra safety gear, clothing, and adult supervision, biking at night and obeying the traffic signals.
As per a report published on a popular website, “unfortunately, poor biking lands more than a quarter-million kids a year in US Emergency departments with severe injuries”. At times parents do know the importance of wearing a helmet, but they do not understand the importance of how properly a helmet should be fit. Ensure that your kid wears the helmet before they go out for a bicycle ride. Leave the hair loose or tie in the back at the base of the neck. Bike helmets are good only for one crash. Replace the helmet immediately after the first crash and do not wait for a second one to happen.
You spread these safety instructions and save the life of a kid.