A concerned “06880” reader writes:
I am fortunate to live near the beach. Houses are very close to each other. Kids have freedom to take a bike ride, and test their independence. They travel to friends’ houses on their own, and hang out at the beach. Or maybe they just go outside and pedal the day away.
I applaud kids for putting down their phones and getting some exercise. However, I am alarmed at the number of them I see riding without helmets.
I know the joy of riding your bicycle with the wind running through your hair. I know that helmets are a drag and can ruin the best style, leaving your with dreaded helmet hair. I know the feeling of a sticky, sweaty, uncomfortable forehead.
But I also know the danger that can arise from a bicycle accident. Whether it is slipping on sand or gravel, getting struck by a car or hitting a pothole and going splat on the pavement, outdoor bike riding has its pitfalls.
I implore kids and their parents to please put on a helmet — and make sure they stay on. Once a child is out of their parents’ sight, kids may be tempted to take off the helmet and let it hang from the handlebars. I see plenty of that.
Helmets should fit snugly, flat on the head, and be fastened properly. There should be no more than 2 fingers’ space between the chin and the helmet strap. Here is a video that shows the proper fit.
Click here for a list of reasons to wear a bicycle helmet. They include protecting your head, face and brain from trauma, increasing visibility, being able to see, and modeling behavior for others.
78% percent of adult cyclists and 88 percent of young riders who suffered head and neck injuries were not wearing helmets.
And if you want a visual, you can even show your kids this video:
Now get out there, buckle up — and go for a ride!
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