As doctors say, “we can fix arms and legs – we can’t fix head and neck”.
Bicycle helmets reduces the risk that children will get head injuries from accidents related to falls from riding a bike. Wearing a bicycle helmet prevents bicycle related deaths in children by 75%.
Less than 20% of reported bicycle injuries involve collisions with cars. Most injuries occur in falls, or as a result of the rider loses control. A bad fall can be the result of a skid, a wheel get catched in a crack or even getting a shoelace caught in the chain.
It is usually the foreheadthat hits the ground first. Head injuries are one the most common of bicycle-related accidents and can result in serious injury such as disability, brain damage and in the worst case scenario death.
Helmets are the most important protective gear for bikers. Helmets should fit appropriately and the straps should be fastened.
A helmet should be worn squarely on top of the head, cover the forehead, the back of the head and the crown.
If it is tipped back, it will not protect the forehead. The helmet fits well if it doesn’t move around on the head or slide down over the eyes when pushed or pulled. The chin strap should be adjusted to fit snugly.
A badly fitting helmet can cause serious harm.
The essential part of the helmet for impact protection is a thick layer of firm polystyrene, a plastic foam, which crushes on impact and absorbs the force of the blow.
A helmet that has been through a serious fall or crash shall be retired with gratitude. It has served its purpose and maybe not provide adequate protection in another crash. Impacts crush some of the foam and the helmet is less protective even if the damage of the helmet isn’t visible to the eye. If you are uncertain whether the helmet is still usable, throw it away.
Playgrounds and bicycle helmets are not a good combination!
There is a “hidden hazard” of strangulation if a child wears a helmet while playing on playground equipment.
There have been cases of young children suffering death or severe brain damage as a result of being hanged by the straps of their bicycle helmets when they have been playing on a playground.
Be sure to teach children to remove their helmets before using playground equipment or climbing trees!
CE the European Seal of Approval and it is only awarded for safe helmets. A CE testing typically includes tests for:
- shock absorption
- retention systems (chin strap and buckle)
The marking should be CE EN 1078 (for children over age 7 and adults) or EN 1080 (helmet for young children with a green buckle); that way you know that it is a helmet designed for cycling.
EN 1080 is a derived standard designed to address problems associated with the strangulation of children playing while wearing helmets.
En1080 is a helmet for children up to seven years old and it provides the same level of protection as an ordinary bicycle helmet, but the green buckle has an additional feature causing it to release under a defined load. The buckle will release if the child gets caught in a climbing frame or similar, to help prevent choking accidents.