The Importance of Bike Helmet Safety
Nearly 90 percent of bike fatalities happen to people age 14 and older
Each year, more than 500,000 people in the United States are treated in emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries. Roughly 700 people die from these injuries—but an estimated three quarters of them would have survived if they had been wearing a helmet.
Even more surprising, 88 percent of those killed were older than age 14—an age group that rarely wears helmets.
Start now by teaching your children and teenagers the important of helmet safety. Below are some resources to help.
Tips for Getting Your Children to Wear Bicycle Helmets
Provided by The Injury Prevention Program of the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Establish the helmet habit early — Have your children wear helmets as soon as they start to ride tricycles. If they learn early, it becomes a habit for a lifetime.
- It’s never too late to get your children into helmets — Allow your child to participate in choosing their helmet. If they like the design and comfort, they are more likely to wear it.
- Wear a helmet yourself — Children learn best by observing you. Plan bicycle outings during which all family members wear their helmets to further reinforce the message.
- Talk to your children about why you want them to protect their heads — Including how you love and value them; that they can permanently hurt their brains or die of head injuries; and that most professional athletes use helmets when participating in sports.
- Reward your kids for wearing helmets — Praise them or give them special privileges when they wear their helmets without having to be reminded.
- Don’t let children ride their bikes unless they wear their helmets — Be consistent. If you allow your children to use helmets only occasionally, they won’t believe that helmet use really is important.
- Encourage your children’s friends to wear helmets — Peer pressure can be used in a positive way if several families in the neighborhood start making helmet use a regular habit simultaneously.