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|Bicycle, Scooter and Skateboard Safety|It's never too early to get children used to wearing a helmet!
Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in bicycle (including tricyles and "big wheel" type bikes), in-line skating, scooters, and skateboarding crashes. Using a properly fitted helmet, at any age helps prevent deaths and injury. Both children and adults need to make safety an important part of bicycle, in-line skating, and skateboarding fun and activities.
California's helmet law requires that everyone under 18 years of age wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, scooter or skateboard, wearing in-line or roller skates, or while riding upon a bicycle, scooter or skateboard as a passenger.
Buy the Right Helmet:
Wear Helmet Properly:
- Pick the right size. Helmets come in a range of sizes, including infant sizes;
- Buy a helmet that is approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), or Snell. Approved helmets meet strict safety standards;
- Take your child with you when you are shopping for a helmet. Your child should like his/her helmet, which will increase the likelihood that he/she will wear it consistently;
- Pick the right helmet for the sport. Some helmets are multi-sport, indicating that they can be used for in-line skating, skateboarding, bicycling, or other wheel sports. However, some are designated as "bicycle helmet" and are designed only for that sport.
Buy the Right Bicycle:
- The helmet should fit your child's head so that when the straps are snug, it will not move around on the head;
- The front edge of the helmet should be two finger widths above the eyebrow;
- The helmet should fit flat atop your child's head and not be tilted back at an angle;
- Front and back straps of the helmet should form a V just below the ear;
- Front straps should be vertical and the rear straps should be flat;
- The chinstrap should be snug when your child opens his/her mouth (one finger should fit between the chin and the chin strap when the mouth is closed;
- Replace the helmet after it has been involved in an accident.
- Make sure your child rides a bicycle that is the right size;
- The bicycle should not be too big or complicated;
- The bicycle should have a bell or horn, a headlight, flashing taillight and reflectors.
- Obey traffic laws and learn the rules of the road;
- Never allow small children to ride unattended or without a helmet, even if an area seems "safe", like a park or backyard.
- Parents, don't let your children ride their bicycle, in-line skates, or skateboard during non-daylight hours or during bad weather;
- Wear brightly colored clothing, especially at night;
- When in-line/roller-skating, always wear protective gear (i.e., elbow and kneepads, gloves, helmets, and wrist guards);
- When skateboarding, always wear protective gear (i.e., helmets, padding, and closed-toe and slip resistant shoes);
- In-line/roller-skates - Buy durable skates with proper ankle support;
- Bicycles and in-line skates - Stay alert. Look for uneven pavement or other surface problems;
- Skateboards - Do not use on surface streets and practice only in designated skateboarding areas;
- Skateboards and In-line/roller-skates - Do not hitch rides from bicycles, cars, or other vehicles;
- Allow only one person per skateboard or bicycle; and
- Check your bicycle/skateboard/in-line/roller-skates for wear and tear.