There was a story in Wink News about a 10 year old boy who fell riding his bike in Cape Coral last week. You may be thinking that’s not really a big news item, kids fall riding bikes every day. What was notable about this story was the child was not wearing a bike helmet. It was reported the child suffered several skull fractures and was taken to the hospital in serious condition. This should grab the attention of any parent or grandparent in Florida. Wearing a bike helmet is important for a couple of reasons.
First, Florida law requires a child under 16 to wear a bike helmet. That should be enough, but may not be for some parents or children. Second, a bike helmet is designed to prevent skull fractures and could save your child’s life. When properly worn, helmets can prevent 88% of serious brain injuries.
How often do we see kids on bikes not wearing a helmet? We’re more likely to see younger kids wearing them. As they get older and their friends are telling them helmets aren’t “cool”, the pressure not to wear them gets worse. I urge parents not to give in. Make it a requirement for your child to wear one, all the time. Be consistent about it. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you never had one as a kid or there isn’t much chance the worst could happen. Everyone hurt or killed in a bicycle mishap thought the same thing, and they were wrong.
In my travels I see many parents modeling bad behavior about helmets. You’ve seen it, their younger kids will be wearing one while the parents are riding with no helmet. That just reinforces the “do as I say, not as I do” which is phony and your kids know it. It also says bike helmets really aren’t cool or necessary. It leaves you with no moral authority to insist on your child wearing one as they get older.
Because of our interest in teaching bicycle safety to children, Jim Dodson Law started a "Helmets for Kids” program to get bike helmets into the hands (and on the heads) of kids who don’t have one and may not be able to get one on their own. I’ll make you a deal. If you live in our geographic area and have a child who needs a helmet, just call Kati at 727-446-0840 and we’ll make sure you get one. We don’t want to read another story of a child who fell and suffered a skull fracture because they weren't wearing a bike helmet.