Colorado laws do not mandate helmet usage. However, research shows bicycle helmet’s efficacy in preventing injury in the event of a bicycle accident – but your child’s bike helmet should be sized appropriately. When fitting a bike helmet for your child, make sure you do so appropriately so it’s most effective.
Properly Fitting Your Child’s Bicycle Helmet
In order for the helmet to be effective in preventing head injuries, it must be properly fitted.
To correctly fit and adjust your child’s helmet:
- make sure the helmet is the correct size (check to see if it fits snugly, and add or remove sizing pads to adjust the fit);
- position the helmet low on your child’s forehead (there should only be a couple inches between the helmet and your child’s eyebrows.);
- adjust the side straps to where the “Y” meets right below the ears; and
- buckle the chin straps and adjust the size accordingly (It should be snug, with no more than one-finger’s space between the strap and your child’s chin.)
Before sending your child down the road, make sure there is no slippage on the helmet.
Avoiding Bicycle Injury Risks with Other Precautions
In addition to making sure your child’s helmet is properly fitted, there are several other safety precautions to consider:
- additional safety gear – to avoid road rash and other injuries, you can provide your child with kneepads, elbow pads, and wrist guards;
- clothing – make sure there isn’t any loose, baggy clothing that could get tangled up in the chain or wheels;
- learning the rules of the road – teach your child the basic rules of the road, including how to cross the road safely and how to obey all the traffic lights, signs, and signals; and
- replace older helmets – if the helmet has been dropped on a hard surface, if it’s been through an accident, or if your child is outgrowing it, replace it as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Improper Helmet Usage
Helmets can save lives. Period. Approximately 48,000 people were injured in bicycle-motor vehicle accidents in 2011, and 677 bicycle riders lost their lives, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nearly 20 percent of those injured in bicycle/car collisions were children under the age of 16.
According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the importance of wearing a properly sized and well-adjusted helmet is glaringly obvious:
- helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent;
- they can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent;
- about 75 percent of bicycle-related children fatalities could be prevented simply by wearing a bicycle helmet; and
- if children aged four to 15 wore helmets, it could prevent as many as 155 deaths and 45,000 head injuries per year in the country.
Contacting Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Arvada
If your family has been affected by an accident, we can help you with your legal matters. Contact personal injury attorney D.J. Banovitz today. We help accident victims pursue compensation for their injuries, and have assisted numerous families in acquiring restitution for damages after losing their loved in a serious accident. Call us at 303-300-5060 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a personal injury attorney.