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Yesterday, it is likely that many children woke up to a brand new bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or pair of roller blades sitting under their Christmas tree. A helmet and other protective gear should also be included with these gifts since they can be dangerous activities when proper safety precautions are not taken. Young children are more likely to get severe injuries to their head, arms, and legs when riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard and falling off. Most injuries can be prevented by wearing protective gear such as helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads. Any bicyclist who does not wear a helmet is at increased risk of head injury. A national survey has shown that only 48% of children ages 5-14 years wore bicycle helmets when riding. Most children find helmets to be uncomfortable and “uncool,” but they don’t realize they can also save your life by protecting your head from serious injury. Parents and older siblings need to set a good example for the younger children by showing them that wearing a helmet is the “cool” thing to do.
When getting your child a helmet, make sure it is the proper size and that it is tightened and secure when on their head. Do not let your child be the one who gets seriously injured or even killed from not wearing a properly fitting helmet when riding their new bike, scooter, skateboard, or pair of roller blades. Make sure your children are safe when playing with their new toys while riding them into the New Year.