This post kicks off our “Ask the Expert” series, which will answer your questions and bring you timely information from a variety of Gillette experts. Do you have a question or topic for one of our experts? Leave a comment or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summertime means wheeling around the neighborhood on bicycles, skateboards, scooters and in-line skates. But while you’re out enjoying the fresh air, don’t forget your helmet! Below are the answers to some questions I hear most often from parents about helmets.
What if my child won’t wear a helmet?
This is a common question, and I have a simple response: No helmet, no wheels! Here are some tips to enforce this basic family rule:
• Start young. Children should grow up knowing that a helmet is part of safety on wheels.
• Be a role model. Always wear your own helmet when riding.
• Get your child involved. Let your child pick his or her own helmet. Some children also like to decorate the outside of their helmets with stickers.
• Make sure it fits. Helmets should be snug, level and stable.
• Explain what’s at stake. Tell them why you want them to protect their heads. (“I love you and want you to stay safe.” “I want to protect your head so that you stay smart.”)
Do I have to buy an expensive helmet?
No. Research shows that protection doesn’t increase with price. Stores such as Walmart and Target sell bicycle helmets starting at $15.
What should I look for in a bicycle helmet?
Choose a bicycle helmet certified by the Consumer Products and Safety Commission (CPSC). There should be a sticker inside the helmet that notes this certification.
What should I look for in a skateboarding helmet?
Choose a skateboarding helmet certified by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM F1492). There should be a sticker inside the helmet that notes this certification.
Can my child wear the same helmet for cycling and skateboarding?
Yes — if the helmet is dual certified for both bicycling and skateboarding. Look inside the helmet for two stickers to indicate dual certification by CPSC and ASTM F1492. All helmets should fit well — meaning that they’re snug, level and stable.
Check out these kid-friendly videos about helmets and bike safety. The first, Wear Your Helmet, was produced by Gillette. The second, Bike Safe – Bike Smart, was produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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Leslie Larson is a Gillette nurse practitioner who specializes in brain injuries. She works with children who have developmental delays, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injuries. She is a Credentialed ImPACT Consultant and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.