According to Safe Kids Worldwide, every hour nearly 50 children visit emergency departments with an injury related to bikes, scooters, skates or skateboards. They noted that almost 40% of parents of children ages 5-14 years indicated that their child did not always wear a helmet. As the weather warms up and your child begins to spend more time outdoors, it’s important to help remind them of the safety measures they can take to prevent injuries.
Wearing a helmet is not only safe, it’s the law. California law requires that anyone under 18-years-old wear an approved helmet when riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or skates.
It’s important that your child wears a helmet that is the right size and worn properly. Here are some tips to ensure it fits correctly:
- Place your child’s helmet so that it’s no more than two fingers above their eyebrows.
- Buckle and tighten the chin strap, so that it fits snugly under their chin.
- Adjust the side straps to form a “V” shape around the ears.
- Give their helmet a quick wiggle-check to make sure it doesn’t move more than an inch in any direction.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
The best ways to prevent injury either while walking or riding a bike is to be alert, follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals. Other tips include:
- Looking left-right-left and behind for traffic before crossing the road.
- Always crossing or riding in marked crosswalks or intersections.
- Watching for cars entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
- Waiting to step into the roadway until the driver has fully stopped.
- Walking focused and alert. No texting and if listening to music, making sure to keep the volume low.
- Wearing bright clothes or reflective gear.
Alternative Transportation Safety
As alternative transportation, such as hoverboards, e-bikes, and e-scooters, are becoming more popular, injuries associated with these devices are on the rise as well. From 2017-2021, there was a 70% increase in hoverboard, e-bike, and e-scooter associated injuries. Here are some tips to keep your child safe when using these devices:
- Wear safety gear, including a helmet while riding at all times.
- Check the appropriate age level for using alternative transportation. Most are labeled for children ages 16 and up.
- Check that alternative transportation is fully charged and is charging correctly before use.
- If there is any damage to the device or there are issues with charging, refrain from further use.
Learn more about ways to keep your child safe and prevent injuries by downloading our Injury Prevention Program resources.