Bike safety and helmet fitting for kids

Wearing a properly fitted helmet is important for every member of the family. Head injuries are the most common result of a bike accident. More than half million children are seriously injured every year in bicycle-related accidents, and many of those injuries may have been avoided if they were wearing a helmet.

To help you stay safe, we are giving away 200 free bike helmets to kids during Healthy Kids Day, a YMCA family event on April 27. Hosted at YMCA locations across the Puget Sound area, this is a day for kids and families to try new, exciting ways to be active and inspire imaginations. Learn more about Healthy Kids Day.

How to fit a bike helmet

Putting on a helmet before pedaling is crucial for everyone in the family. While there is currently no state law requiring helmet use in Washington, some cities and counties do require helmet use with bicycles.

Here are a few tips on how to choose and safely use bicycle helmets:

  • Choose bright or fluorescent colors so that everyone can see you, day or night.
  • Pick a helmet that is lightweight, comfortable, and well ventilated.
  • Make sure the helmet fits properly, can be adjusted. Most importantly, check to see if it fastens properly. A snug and secure fit is key.
  • Replace any helmet manufactured before 1999. If the helmet takes a hit, replace it immediately. Once damaged, helmets lose their capacity to absorb a shock.

Matthew Handley, MD, a family physician at Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center in Seattle and his friend Timothy show how to fit a helmet.

Helmets: ‘As important as seat belts’

As an emergency medicine physician for Kaiser Permanente, Bruce Evans, MD, gets regular reminders of the importance of wearing your helmet during recreational activities such as bicycling, skateboarding, and snowboarding.

 

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