Yesterday I talked about when to teach your little one to ride a bike. Today I want to talk about helmets. Even though teens don't have to wear helmets by law (check out http://www.iihs.org/laws/mapbicyclehelmets.aspx for the law in your state,)they absolutely should.
My kids were never allowed to ride without a helmet at any age, a family rule that caused much fighting during their formative teenage years. My one son was even pulled over by the police on several occassions, and rewarded with a coupon for a free ice cream cone because he was wearing a helmet. How devestating for a 14 year old! His friends didn't have to wear a helmet and he was mortified to be the only one who did.
Here are a few statistics from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:
The "typical" bicyclist killed on our roads is a sober male over 16 not wearing a helmet riding on a major road between intersections in an urban area on a summer evening when hit by a car.
About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.
Non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders.
If your child learns to ride a bike and part of that lesson includes the fact that she must wear a helmet, she will recognize that this is part of bike riding forever. Being cool is not nearly enough of a trade-off compared to the risks of not wearing a helmet.
Check these out at the Malvern School of Washington Township:
Tuesday, August 11, 2009- “Spend the Day in Pre-K” and “Sneak a Peek at Preschool” with the Music Man visiting at 10am
Wednesday, August 19, 2009-“Come and Play for a Day with the Toddlers” with Mister Softee visiting at 11am.
The address is:
The Malvern School of Washington Township
329 Greentree Road
Sewell, NJ 08080