It’s more important than ever for kids to wear helmets, because accidents can happen even just in the parking lot, on the bunny hill, or in line for the chairlift. A study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy found that more than 2.2 million children ages 5 to 17 were treated in emergency departments in the United States for bicycle injuries between 2006 and 20151. 11% of the injuries during this time period were traumatic brain injuries1. When it comes to the slopes, head injuries like concussions, fractures, and other skull injuries make up about 25% of injuries suffered by children and adolescents participating in snow sports3.
It’s estimated that 75% of fatal head injuries among child bicyclists could be prevented with a helmet, but only 41% of children wear helmets, and more than one-third of kids who do wear helmets are wearing them improperly2. That’s why it is essential to make sure that your kids are wearing their helmets anytime they hit the streets on their bikes or the slopes on their skis. From modeling good helmet habits to letting your child pick a helmet they’ll love, here are six ways to keep your kids safe and encourage them to wear their helmets.
1. Set A Good Example
The best way to create good helmet habits is to wear a helmet yourself. This shows that it’s a part of the process when getting ready to bike, ski, or snowboard, and normalizes it. By wearing a helmet you’re showing that safety is important to everyone, regardless of age, skills, or experience.
2. Start Them Early
Get your child to wear a helmet from the very first time they ride, whether on the streets or on the slopes, by introducing it as a part of the core equipment setup. The bike and helmet are one in the same. This will make it the default, and it will be easier to get your kids to wear a helmet in the future.
3. Let Them Pick Their Helmet
Children develop their personality early, so let them express it. If they are able to pick the color, style, or design on their own, it’s more likely that your child will want to wear the helmet when riding a bike or skiing/snowboarding.
Did you know that we launched a helmet that your kids can color themselves? Talk about a helmet they will not only want to wear, but will want to show off to their friends. Click here to learn more about our Canvas Nino and Nina helmets.
4. Explain Why It’s Important
Helping your child understand the importance of bike and snowboard safety is key to encouraging proper and consistent helmet use. Treat a bike, skis, or a snowboard like they would a vehicle. There’s a reason they need to wear a seatbelt in the car, right? Treat putting a helmet on as a similar safety measure.
5. Use Social Validation
Show your child how their friends are wearing helmets as a way to encourage them to “be part of the group” and be safe at all times. You can also validate the use of helmets and “make it cool” by showing your children YouTube videos of professional bike riders, skiers and snowboarders, all of which will be wearing helmets when they compete.
6. Restrict Use Without a Helmet
As a last resort, make wearing a helmet a requirement, where your child is not allowed to ride their bike or ski or snowboard without wearing a helmet. When your child sees their friends having fun and wants to partake, they will have to wear a helmet to do so.
Looking to get a new helmet for yourself or your child? Check out our safe and stylish helmets for winter sports or biking by using the links below.