CLEVELAND – Before your kids hop on their bikes and ride off into the sunset, there’s something parents need to check – their helmets!
“You want to see if there’s any cracks, any dents in your helmet. Because believe it or not, helmets are only good for one accident, because if they’re deformed then they’re not going to function right,” explained Richard So, MD, pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
Dr. So said a helmet is a must for any child riding a bike. Data shows wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%.
So, what’s the right way to wear one?
A helmet should be level on the head and fit snuggly. Straps should be even and tight when buckled. And there should only be enough room for one finger between the buckle and your child’s chin. It should not rock back and forth, or sideways.
Also, be sure the helmet covers your child’s forehead in case they fall forward.
“They should fit one inch above your eyebrows. The most common wrong thing I see driving down the street is that the helmet rides on the back and you can see the forehead. That’s not protecting your child,” said Dr. So.
Dr. So reminds parents that they should wear helmets, too. He adds it’s important for them to model safe behaviors so their child follows suit.