A helmet can reduce the risk of any head and face injury and it can save your life. If you let your child ride with you on a motorcycle or, perhaps even drive one on his own, while wearing one of the best helmets for kids, you won’t as worried as much. If not, then you need to consider the following information.
The latest available information from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) indicates that motorcycle crashes result to about $16 billion in direct costs such as emergency services, medical costs including rehabilitation, property damage, loss of market productivity including lost wages, loss in household productivity, as well as insurance costs, including claims and the cost of defense attorneys.
As such the same office recommends that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the NHTSA, the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, part of the Department of Transportation, to grant states for motorcycle safety be expanded from motorcyclist training and motorist awareness efforts to include programs that will increase the use of helmets, safety awareness, and also educating police about motorcycle safety.
According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are 5,286 people who died in motorcycle crashes in 2016, which is a 5.1 percent increase from 5,029 in 2015. This indicates that motorcycle fatalities have increased for the second year in a row and are at the highest level since 2008. In 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than car passengers to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled.
Can you just imagine the danger that having your child riding in a motorcycle could possibly have if he or she is not wearing a helmet? Even if you ensure that your child wears a helmet when he/she is in the road or is riding with you on a motorcycle, you still need to make sure that the helmet that your child is wearing will give the child the best protection needed to limit the risk of injury should a collision occur. Part of this is making sure that the helmet fits the child’s head well.
A helmet that fits snuggly on a wearer’s head should lie flat over the crown of the head. It has to cover the child’s forehead without obstructing his/her view. You will need to measure one to two (adult) finger widths between the child’s eyebrows and the bottom of the helmet to ensure that your child won’t find wearing the helmet cumbersome.
To ensure that the helmet won’t move, you will need to adjust the universal fit ring at the base of the helmet. It should be tight enough that the helmet does not fall off when your child bends over. It should also be loose enough that it does not put pressure on the child’s skull. Make sure that your child is not wearing a hat under his/her helmet. A child with a long hair may also tie her hair at the base of the neck.
Remember that your child should be wearing a helmet while on the road, even if it will just be a short trip.
Safety Reminders with the Chin Strap
Take note that helmet straps should lay flat against the child’s head as they form a “Y” at each earlobe. Adjust the straps so that they are snuggly fit yet still comfortable. You should be able to fit one finger width between the buckle and the chin. You may also try to twist or pull the helmet. If it won’t budge, then the chin strap fits just right. The helmet should also easily pull down when the child opens his/her mouth.
Finding Right-Fitting Helmet
To find the right-fitting helmet for your child, you will have to know the circumference of your child’s head. This will be the measurement of their head an inch or two just above their eyebrows. Take note that motorcycle helmets are designed with “fit pads” in its front, back and sides. Make sure that all of the pads inside the helmet are touching the child’s head evenly and the helmet stays won’t move even if you try moving it from side to side. It will be a comfort to note that these pads can be replaced with thinner ones as the child grows, which lessens the need to buy a new one as soon as a child outgrows a helmet.
Choosing A Safe Helmet For Your Child
One of the basic things that should never do to ensure that the helmet that your child will be wearing is safe is that your child should not be allowed to use a pre-loved helmet. Hand me downs do not guarantee the safety of the next user. You can never be sure how many times such a helmet has been mishandled or dropped, for instance. You may not also be certain whether such helmet meets current safety standards.
You will have to make sure that the helmet that your child will be wearing is free from cracks in any part of the helmet. If a helmet that your child has been using involved in a crash, you will need to replace it right away. This will ensure that your child will be wearing a safe motorcycle helmet any time. Even if there are no obvious damage on the helmet and it has not been worn for at least five years, you will still need to get a new one any time the helmet that your child has been using has received a significant blow.
Note that approved motorcyle helmets come with a sticker from Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or from any other safety standard setting organization,which indicates that the helmet has been tested and passed the Safety Standards set by the CPSC, and other safety promoting organization, such as the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT Safety Standards), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) Standard, and the SNELL Memorial Foundation.
It is comfort to know, however, that helmets that are being sold in the U.S. have passed passed certain safety standards. You also need to understand that helmets that higher-priced helmets are not necessarily made to be safer than inexpensive ones. Just make sure that a helmet that you intend to buy for your child has the appropriate sticker at the back of the helmet, as well as inside it as this indicates the actual certification granted by a Safety Standard awarding organization.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to look after the safety of your child. Take note of all these safety precautions we have listed. You will also need to always require your child to wear a helmet no matter the length of a ride he or she needs to be with you or the distance that your child needs to cover. Always check the helmet for hidden cracks, and ensure that your child is wearing the motorcycle helmet properly every time.