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 COVID restrictions loosen, 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.
The Injury Prevention Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women's Hospital Long Beach focuses on providing safety education to children and families to prevent injury. Dedicated injury prevention coordinators offer bicycle, pedestrian and car seat safety, as well as certified bicycle and skateboard helmets for children in need. The Injury Prevention Program team attends community events throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties to educate children and their families on how to stay safe to avoid hospitalization.