Wheeled Sports Safety

A helmet should be worn every time you ride a:

  • Bike
  • Scooter
  • Skateboard
  • In-line skate

You can greatly reduce your children’s risk of injury and death by simply setting this rule. It’s simple: Wear a helmet every time, all the time.

Helmet use can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and severe brain injury by as much as 88 percent.

It’s not enough to simply buy a helmet – it should be properly fitted, adjusted and worn each time you ride!

Buying a Helmet

  • Take your child with you when buying a helmet to make sure it will fit. It’s also a good idea to measure the head for approximate size.
  • Buy a helmet your child likes. That way, they will be more likely to wear it.
  • Buy a helmet that is appropriate for the sport or activity your child will be doing. If such a helmet is not available, get a multi-sport helmet.

How to Wear a Helmet

  • Use the sponge pads that came with the helmet to get a good fit. The helmet should be snug, only moving 1 inch when pushed from front to back. Use a combination of pad sizes and place them where needed.
  • Be sure the front edge of the helmet is no more than one inch (two fingers) above your child’s eyebrows.
  • Make sure the front and back straps meet in a V-shape just below your child’s ear. The front straps should be vertical and the rear straps should be flat, without any slack. If the helmet leans forward, adjust the rear straps. If it tilts backward, tighten the front straps.
  • Be sure all straps are equally tight when the chin strap is buckled.
  • Test the chin strap. When your child opens his mouth, the chin strap should be snug. One finger should fit between the chin and the chin strap when your child’s mouth is closed.
  • Alert: Kids should not wear helmets on the playground (where the straps can get caught on equipment and cause injury).

Bicycle Riding Tips

  • A bicycle is a vehicle, not a toy. Riding a bike, especially around traffic, is an important responsibility.
  • Cycling should be restricted to sidewalks and paths until a child is age 10 and able to show how well he or she rides and observes the basic rules of the road. Adult supervision is essential until the appropriate traffic skills and judgment are obtained.
  • 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.
  • Do not ride when it’s dark. If riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening is unavoidable, wear retro-reflective material on clothing or the bike, and use lights on the bike.
  • Proper bike fit and maintenance can help prevent injuries. Your child’s feet should reach the ground while sitting on the bike seat. Make sure the reflectors are secure, brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly and tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.

Helmet Program

Helmets are provided to groups such as Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, elementary schools conducting bicycle rodeos and after-school programs. Quantities are limited.

We also provide helmets to patients in the Driscoll Emergency Department who have been injured on a bike.

All helmets are provided with education from a Driscoll employee or outside agency who can provide adequate bicycle safety education, such as law enforcement or cyclists who have been through a certified bicycle safety course.

Printable Safety Tips

NHTSA: Fitting a Helmet
NHTSA: Kids and Bicycle Safety

For more information:
NHTSA.gov/bicycles
Bike Helmet Institute at www.bhsi.org