In Emergency Rooms, hospital staff refer to motorcycle riders who don’t wear helmets, as “Organ Donors.” I know…empathetic; but the statistics make it not so far reached. I wonder if these adolescent-behaving adults were once children whose parents didn’t insist their kids wear helmets while riding up and down the cul-de-sac? Probably not.
Most kids of my generation did not wear bike helmets (or even shoes while racing around the neighborhood) and it wasn’t until the late 70s that Americans started routinely wearing seat belts.
But I think if parents can get their kids comfortable at a young age with wearing a bicycle helmet (and I realize how hard this is to enforce) the future of our children may be more safe. I know I feel uncomfortable when I’m driving and I have to take off my seat belt even for a second. It would be the same for kids and helmets if parents were vigilant and started this habit early on. First with the tricycle, then the bike, scooters, etc…
A habit needs to be formed, and it can be established after repeating the activity for 2 to 4 weeks if consistent. Hopefully, the helmet will make the child feel safe instead of the helmet being a discomfort or hindrance.
The first step in getting your child to start this practice is for parents to set a good example by wearing a bike helmet themselves. Going on bike treks this summer with a helmet-wearing adult, shows children it is appropriate to wear them. Also, if the child chooses their own helmet and decorates it with stickers, paint or whatever makes them feel happy, then the chance of the child wearing it when you aren’t around is higher!
Good luck…it’s not an easy battle, but a fight worth fighting!!
© 2012, Hatton. All rights reserved.