With warmer weather fast approaching, kids will be jumping on their transportation of choice. Whether it’s a trike or a hoverboard, make sure they have the proper protection.
It’s Never Too Early To Get Your Child Used To Wearing A Helmet
Starting with tricycles, children should get used to wearing headgear
It won’t be long before they advance to scooters, bicycles, skateboards, skates, or hoverboards.
Not All Falls Are The Same
Helmets are a crucial part of safety when a child takes an unavoidable fall
They can prevent, or at least minimize injuries to the head and brain
Currently, helmets can prevent about 85% of head injuries caused by bicycle accidents
However, headgear is only effective if worn correctly.
Head Injuries Can Be Caused By A Variety Of Problems
Our brain is encased by a hard skull
However, that does not prevent the brain from injury
A hard impact or a very violent turn of the head (while the brain remains stationary) can yank on internal blood vessels or injure nerves
Your child may still suffer a concussion, a brain bleed, or nerve injury. Injury can also occur with any brain swelling, as the hard skull prevents it from expanding and the tissue suffers damage.
Taking A Closer Look At Concussions
A person can suffer a concussion without losing consciousness. In fact, many who develop concussions never lose consciousness. He may just complain of feeling “not right.”
Other symptoms include:
Appears dazed or stunned
Forgets instructions or gets confused easily
Can’t remember events prior to or after a fall
Asks questions slowly
Shows mood behavior, or personality changes
Moves clumsily (balance problems)
Headache or head “pressure”
Nausea or vomiting
Bothered by light or noise
Should your child ever develop these symptoms after a fall, take him immediately to an emergency room for evaluation.
How Does A Helmet Work
Headgear provides a cushion of foam that helps control the crash energy as well as rotational forces and internal straining. A foam that is too thin may be helpful for impacts of lesser force but not for a big fall.
The outside of the helmet is just as important. The smooth plastic surface not only holds the foam in place but allows the head to “skid” in the helmet, rather than make a “jerking” motion. Unless you know the specifics about how a particular helmet is made, never reuse one that has been in a fall. Often, the cushion cannot be used again. You may not spot small cracks in the plastic either.
A well-fitted helmet should:
Sits just above the eyebrows
Straps are V-shaped and surround the ears and fastened under the chin
It should be snug. Have your child move his head back and forth. The helmet should not move
Should have a label from the American Standards Testing Materials (ASTM)
It Starts And Stops With You
Bicycle helmets are made for adults for a reason. Although, deaths overall have decreased by 17% since 1975, they have increased by 34% since their lowest year (2010). Now, most bicycle deaths occur to those that are 20 years of age and older. Deaths younger than 20 years old have decreased by 87%. As a parent, wearing a bicycle helmet does more than just set a good example. It could very well prolong your life, and that’s the best gift you could give your child.