Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kids' Bicycle Helmet Safety

The following is from

Consumer Reports
Published: July 23, 2009

When it comes to kids’ sports injuries, what’s the leading cause of emergency room visits? Bike accidents. All too often, the child isn’t wearing a helmet.

Consumer Reports put a dozen children’s bike helmets through some tough tests to see how well they’d protect your child. In all, a dozen helmets were tested, ranging in price from $18 to $50.

One test simulates what happens when your head hits the pavement. Another test applies sudden force to the helmet’s straps and buckle to see whether they stretch or break. That helps determine whether the helmet would come off in an accident.

But Consumer Reports says it doesn’t matter whether you get a good helmet if it doesn’t fit correctly. A popular Hannah Montana Denim helmet is supposed to fit children 8 and up. But Consumer Reports found it’s too big for some 8-year-olds. It actually fit some adults!

A good-fitting helmet should fit snugly even before you tighten the straps. It should be level and no more than one or two fingers’ widths above the brow. The straps should form a “V” under each ear and the buckle should be centered under the chin.

The Schwinn Thrasher did very well overall in Consumer Reports’ tests and at $20 it’s a Best Buy.

Over time, a bicycle helmet’s straps might need to be adjusted either because of stretching, slippage, or a child’s growth. So make sure you check them periodically.

Bike helmets should always be replaced after an accident, and at least every five years or sooner if the manufacturer recommends it. And as your child grows, you might need to replace the helmet even more frequently.


For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 (866.WIN.1.NOW)
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

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