Helmets for Fitness Safety
Warm weather has arrived, and that means more people are bike riding, skate-boarding and long-boarding, as well as riding ATVs and motorcycles. That also means you need to make a choice - will you and your kids wear a helmet, or not? Provo firefighter Chad Frisby made a choice and, fortunately, lived to tell about it.
- ATV-related deaths and injuries have gone up as bigger and faster all-terrain vehicles have become available.
- ATV deaths and injuries commonly occur due to rollovers, collisions with non-moving objects and falls from the vehicle.
- Children under the age of 16 who are riding on ATVs are four times more likely than older operators to be taken to the emergency room because of an injury.
- Safe Kids recommends that children under the age of 16 NEVER ride or operate an ATV of any size, including youth-sized machines.
- 670 children, ages 19 and under, are seen in Utah emergency rooms each year because of ATV injuries.
- Purchase a Department of Transportation approved helmet rated for motorized use, over-the-ankle boots, goggles, gloves, long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- In order to use an ATV/OHV on public lands in Utah, you must:
- be at least 8 to drive alone
- have an OHV certification to drive if you don't have a driver's license
- wear a helmet if you are under the age of 18
- Other tips for a safe ride
- make sure the OHV is the right size for your child
- ride on trails or in areas that are appropriate for the riders skill level
- don't allow kids to drive with other kids on board
Snow Skiing and Snow Boarding
- About 40 kids are taken to the emergency room each year because of snowmobile crashes.
- About 22 percent of ski and snow board injuries are serious enough to cause loss of consciousness. or a concussion.
- More than 50 percent of snow sport related injuries among children 14 and under can be prevented by the use of a helmet. These injuries include damage to the top of the head, the back of the head, the forehead and the side of the head above the ear.
- The use of ski and snow board helmets will reduce the risk of head injury on the slopes.
- When shopping for a helmet, your first priority is FIT.
Bicycles and wheeled sports
- Children riding bikes, scooters, skateboards and inline skates should only ride on sidewalks and paths until age 10.
- Bikes are vehicles, not toys. The rider should be able to demonstrate riding skills and that they know the rules of the road before riding there.
- The best thing you can do to protect your child while riding on a bike is to encourage them to wear a helmet that fits right. Do NOT negotiate.
- The first body part to fly forward in a bicycle collision is usually the head.
- Helmets should be comfortable and snug, centered on the top of the head and buckled. helmets for bikes should have more coverage in the front of the head.
- Helmets for scooters should be approved by the Department of Transportation for motorized use. Include elbow and knee pads.
- For skateboards and inline skates, buy a helmet with more coverage in the rear of the head. Include elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards.
NO HELMET CAN PREVENT ALL HEAD NJURIES. Even in very low-speed accidents, serious injuries can happen. For maximum protection the helmet must be fitted and attached properly to the wearer's head.