Get Your Gear On
Thousands of children end up in emergency rooms each year as a result of bicycle and skateboard falls. Scrapes are one thing, but serious head injuries and broken bones are also common. Follow the tips below to keep your child safe on their bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or rollerblades.
Skateboards, scooters, and rollerblades
Require your children to wear protective gear while skateboarding including helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and shoes. Make sure all protective equipment fits your child properly. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that children under the age of five should not use skateboards and children under 10 need close supervision.
It is also a great idea to wear helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards while riding a scooter or rollerblading.
Studies show that 74–85 percent of bicycle-related head injuries could be prevented with the proper use of a helmet. Require your children to wear helmets and follow strict bike-riding rules. Buy helmets that have a sticker stating approval by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Make sure the straps are always fastened on the bike helmet and that the fit is snug to the head. The helmet should cover the forehead and rest just above the eyebrows. Use our bike helmet fitting tip sheet.
Any helmet involved in a crash should be discarded.
Be visible, wear brightly colored clothing, and have a brightly colored helmet with reflective tape or reflectors on it. Make sure drivers in vehicles can see riders.
Check your equipment each time before using to make sure it is trail ready and no repairs are needed. Use only in safe places—sidewalks, not streets. Stay away from high-traffic areas and out of the street. Make sure the equipment fits the user. Never listen to headphones while riding or skating. We are reliant on our ears to bring sounds of approaching vehicles, animals, and people, so don’t intentionally cut off the extra safety precaution with loud noises.
Remember to follow all safety rules and have a “no bummer summer!”