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Teaching Your Kids About Helmet Safety

Wearing a protective helmet when you are engaging in activities such as bike riding, skateboarding and roller blading is not only smart, it is the law. In the province of Ontario, anyone 18 years of age or younger that is riding a bicycle on public roads must wear an approved protective helmet.

Teaching your kids about helmet safety is extremely important. Many head injuries take time to show symptoms and can become quite devastating. Your child may bump his or her head as the result of a fall off a bike and seem perfectly fine. But over time, his or her vision may start to blur and he or she may develop persistent headaches that are the unmistakable sign of a brain injury.

An approved helmet, in the province of Ontario, is one that has one of the following certifications stamped in it:

  • Snell Memorial Foundation
  • British Standards Institute
  • Canadian Standard Association
  • American National Standard Institute
  • American Society for Testing and Materials
  • Standards Association of Australia

When you are teaching your children about the importance and necessity of helmets, you should also teach them how to wear a helmet. One of the most important things about a good helmet is that it fits securely on the child’s head. When the child moves his or her head, the helmet moves with him or her and does not slide around.

To offer maximum protection, the helmet should cover the entire head down to at least one inch above the eyebrow level. When you examine the chin strap, make sure that it goes all the way under the chin and connects just below each ear. The strap needs to be adjustable and should be fitted to make sure that the helmet is secure, but that it does not choke the child.

Parents need to take an active role in making sure that their children are wearing their helmets at all times. Prior to each of your child’s adventures, you should examine the helmet to make sure it is safe to wear. Check each of the snaps and buckles on the strap to be sure that they are all working properly. Check the ear supports and strap for any sign of tearing. If the strap does not seem safe, then replace it immediately. If the helmet has any cracks in it or no longer fits the child properly, then replace it immediately.

A helmet is not going to prevent your child from cutting his or her knee or injuring his or her arm if he or she falls off a skateboard. But knees and arms heal quickly, especially on children. Brain injuries caused by falls taken without a helmet can last a lifetime. Do the smart thing and make sure that your children understand the importance of wearing a helmet.

 

For assistance with a personal injury and/or insurance claim, please email David Himelfarb at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com or call 1-855-446-7765, for a free case evaluation.

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