How to Make Your Child Wear a Bicycle Helmet

Every child who rides a bicycle to school or anywhere else, must wear a bicycle helmet. That is the single most important piece of advice that any California bicycle accident lawyer would offer parents.

Unfortunately, bicycle helmet usage rates, which should be 100% among children, are not always so. Many children resist wearing a helmet for a variety of reasons, and parents simply go along. Children don’t like helmets because they consider them uncomfortable or uncool. Parents need to be stricter about getting their children to wear bicycle helmets every time they ride.

Not wearing a bicycle helmet increases the risk of brain injury if the child is involved in an accident. The risk of brain injuries is present when an adult bicyclist is involved in an accident, but the risk of severe injuries may be greater when it is a child involved in a crash. That’s because young brains are still growing, and may be much more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a sudden blow to the head, which often results in a bicycle accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children account for some of the highest rates of injuries in bicycle accidents. They account for close to 60% of all injuries in bicycle accidents.

Introduce your child to helmets early. A young child, who has begun wearing helmets, is likely to develop a habit of wearing helmets, and will continue wearing bicycle helmets as he grows older.

Get your children to help pick out a helmet. The helmet must be properly fitting. Let your child pick the color or design that he or she wants to.

It also goes without saying that you as an adult should model appropriate behaviors, and wear a bicycle helmet while riding.

Bicycling and Brain Injuries

It’s no news that the bicyclist who is not wearing a helmet is at a much higher risk of suffering serious, and possibly even fatal brain injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, there were 800 bicyclist fatalities across the country in bicycle accidents, and more than 510,000 bicyclists bicycle accident-related injuries. Every year 26,000 bicycle injuries comprised of traumatic brain injuries.

These are some of the most serious injuries facing bicyclists, and a helmet can be a bicycle bicyclist’s sole chance of minimizing the risk of such injuries. Brain injuries are not only disabling and debilitating injuries, but also some of the most expensive injuries. An average brain injury victim can go through millions of dollars in expenses over a lifetime of care.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there has been a 30% increase in the number of hospital emergency room visits that are linked to traumatic brain injury. The findings were seen over a four-year period, and the researchers believe that the increase in the number of emergency room visits is possibly the result of greater awareness about the dangers of brain injuries, especially milder injuries like concussions.

You can minimize your chances of suffering a brain injury in a bicycle accident. Wear a helmet every time you bicycle. If there are other people in your family who bicycle, make sure that they are all helmeted too. The helmet must be properly fitted, and must meet federal safety guidelines.

Children must be protected against these injuries, because their brains are still growing, and may be much more vulnerable to the long-term effects of injury. If your children refuse to wear a helmet, get them involved in the process of buying a helmet.

Take care to avoid being involved in an accident. Ride with the traffic flow, and not against it. Make sure that you’re aware of all traffic signs and signals, and follow all traffic rules stringently. Learn the correct hand signals and use these correctly.

Invisible Bicycle Helmets Could Soon Be Here

In 2010, a team of two Swedish researchers announced a new ”invisible bicycle” helmet project that featured an inflatable helmet. The helmet is designed to inflate upon impact as soon as the person is involved in an accident, wrapping and protecting the head in an inflated plastic casing, working just like a helmet to protect him from head injuries.

The helmets have been made available in Europe, and are currently being retailed for €399 apiece. The helmet called the Hovding, and resembles a scarf that the person wears around his neck. This is less of a helmet, and more of an airbag that is designed to protect the head. According to the inventors, the invisible helmet has up to 3 to 4 times more shock absorption capacity, compared to a traditional helmet.

Apart from the unique design, which ensures that people don’t really have to wear a helmet at all, there are other advantages that the researchers believe have been responsible for its success and popularity. For instance, many bicyclists are apprehensive about wearing helmets because these look clunky, and mess up your hairstyle. The style concerns are especially acute among female bicyclists, who are less likely to wear helmets compared to males.

Those problems are solved with a bicycle helmet that does not really have to be worn on the head every time you bike. The bicycle helmet only becomes a helmet at the time of impact, just like an airbag inflates to protect the body from injuries.

Japanese bicyclists will soon be able to purchase the invisible helmets as these will soon launch in that country, and California bicycle safety lawyers hope that the helmets will reach these shores soon. There’s likely to be tremendous demand for these helmets here, because this is a country where helmet use is lagging behind usage rates in European countries because of the style, wearability and convenience factors.