Bike helmets for kids are the law in the D.C. metro area. And while children may complain about wearing them, there is no doubt a properly worn and fitted helmet can save a child\'s life.
Paula Wolfson, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Bike helmets for kids are the law in the D.C. metro area. While children may complain about wearing them, there is no doubt a properly worn and fitted helmet can save a child’s life.
Dr. Scott Freedman, medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, says the number of kids who come into his ER with bike injuries is “significant.”
“The majority of children that have severe head injury and end up, frankly, dying, could be prevented if they wore helmets,” he says.
Freedman says part of the problem is parents think their children need to wear helmets when riding in busy areas, but not on neighborhood streets. And too many moms and dads send their kids out in helmets that just don’t fit.
“It either will get in the way of someone’s vision, will fall off, or will give someone the perception that they are safe. When in fact if you don’t put a helmet on correctly and wear it correctly, that alone will be greatly damaging,” Freedman says.
He suggests a simple finger test called “2-V-1″ to make sure a helmet is worn properly, is neither too tight nor too loose, and protects a child’s head without disrupting vision.
Good helmets usually cost about $40 at local bike shops. Kids helmets come in various sizes. The best fit is obtained by measuring the circumference of the head an inch above the eyebrows. Opt for one in a bright color and possibly a vivid design — in short, anything that motorists will see.
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