Kids’ Helmets Not Just for Riding Bikes

Experts say helmets are important to many activities

skateboard stunt

Did you know that even if your kid wears a helmet for riding a bike, this probably isn’t enough? Experts say that to protect kids from head injuries, parents should consider a helmet for anything on wheels.

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Serious injuries can happen while kids are skateboarding, rollerblading, or on a scooter, according to Tom Tallman, DO, an emergency room doctor at Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Emergency Medicine.  “Trauma centers are the ones that see a lot of the bad head injuries and serious injuries that lead to death, and I think you’ll find the statistics suggest that those that aren’t wearing helmets have the more serious injuries and death.”

Some states have expanded their bicycle helmet law to require that children under age 18 wear helmets each time they use a skateboard, inline skates, roller skates or scooter.

There’s evidence that shows expanded use of helmets helps protect kids. According to a study by the National Safe Kids Campaign, the use of bicycle helmets by kids who were rollerblading reduced the risk of head injury by 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.

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Not all helmets are created equal. For inline skating or skateboarding, the helmets should come down lower in the back, toward the base of the skull to better protect against a backward fall.

But any helmet should meet or exceed safety standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Also, Dr. Tallman says once the padding starts to go, it’s time for a new helmet. He says if you’re wearing a helmet that protected your head from an injury and the inside material is crushed, it’s probably time to replace it.

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A good rule of thumb is to replace your helmet every five years.

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