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Bike and Helmet Safety Tips from CHOP Pediatric Care

Parents should require children to wear a helmet every time he or she rides a bike, skateboard, scooter or inline skates! Whenever they "wheel" around, they should be safe.

Fact:

About 75 percent of bicycle-related deaths among children could be prevented with a bicycle helmet.

Helmet Safety Tips:

Helmets should meet or exceed current safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Bike/Helmet Safety

Do the "Eyes, Ears and Mouth" check:

  1. EYES check: Position the helmet on the child's head. When looking up they should see the bottom rim of the helmet (one to two fingers above the eyebrows).
  2. EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a "V" under the ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
  3. MOUTH check: When the child opens their mouth as wide as they can the helmet should hug their head. If not, tighten those straps!

If your child is reluctant to wear her helmet, try letting them choose their own. Helmets come in many colors and styles - allowing children to choose a helmet that's "cool" may make them less likely to take it off when you're not around.

Talk to other parents and encourage them to have their kids wear helmets. Let your children see that you wear a helmet, too. Children are more likely to wear helmets when riding with others who wear them.

Practice bike safety:

  • Children should ride on sidewalks and paths until they reach the age of 10 and can demonstrate they know the rules of the road. Supervision is essential until children develop the necessary traffic skills and judgment.
  • Make sure bikes have a light and reflectors on the front, back and sides.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it. Ride as far to the right as possible.
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Respect traffic signals. Stop at all stop signs and red lights.
  • Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street.
  • Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left at intersections.
  • Don't ride when it's dark. If riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening is unavoidable, wear reflective material on clothing or bike, and use lights on the bike.

Last Updated: 12/16/2009