Thursday, 6 January 2011

Tips on Choosing Kids Bike Helmets

Good habits start in the home. And one of the habits that we should train our children in is safety consciousness. If you child bikes or skates, make sure he wears a kids bike helmet. This is one of the best things you can do to make sure he is protected from head injuries in case of falls or accidents.

When choosing kids bike helmets, there are several things you need to keep in mind.

1. It should fit perfectly.

Parents are fond of buying big when it comes to their kids clothes or shoes. But when buying helmets, it is never advisable to buy big. A helmet will only do its job when it hugs the head of your child properly. An ill fitting helmet can fall off of your child's head or slip out of place. An ill fitting helmet will also be annoying to wear.

The good news for parents is that kids bike helmets often come with several sets of padding that you can add or remove to ensure a snug fit. This also means that your child will not quickly outgrow his helmet. As he grows up, simply use the thinner padding. Remember that the protection that helmets give is in the shell, not in the padding, so a helmet with and without padding are both just as safe.

When buying your child's bike helmet, bring him along with you and have them try it on. Adjust the padding, buckle the straps. This is the best way to ensure that the helmet you buy will fit perfectly and comfortably on your child's head.

2. Let you child choose a design that he likes.

As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure we create the best possible situation to make our child want to wear the helmet. After all, the best helmet will do no good if he doesn't want to wear it. One way to ensure his cooperation is to let him choose the design that he wants. Fortunately, these days there are many designs and prints your child an choose from.

Guide your kid in choosing a colorful and brightly colored helmet. It's much easier to spot from a distance and when it's dark.

3. Make sure it follows safety standards in your country.

Helmets go through testing to make sure they pass safety standards. In the US, look for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission sticker on the helmet. This tells you that the helmet has passed safety standards and will offer real protection to your child when he needs it.

4. Replace the helmet when it crashes.

Helmets are designed to absorb the impact of a crash. In many cases, the damage to the helmet after impact is not noticeable or visible to the naked eye, but every crash will weaken the helmet. It is wise to replace the helmet after a crash to make sure your child continues to use a helmet that will give him the best protection the next time he crashes.

Aside from this, helmets should be replaced when they no longer fit.

After you and your child have chosen the bike helmet, put rules in place about when the helmet should be worn. Explain to your child the importance of wearing a helmet when biking or skating. Be a role model and wear one when you bike or skate. The more commonplace it seems like to your child to wear a helmet, the greater the likelihood that he will always wear it, too and benefit from the protection that it can give.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Dangers of Defective Bicycle Helmets

Bicyclists wear helmets to help prevent or lessen serious head trauma in the unfortunate event that they are involved in an accident. From the time they first learn to ride a bike, children are told over and over that wearing a helmet can save their lives in a crash. Some states even have laws requiring that cyclists wear helmets and violators face expensive fines. There is little doubt that a good helmet can validate these points and help protect riders, but what happens if a rider is wearing a defective helmet? The truth is that a defective helmet can give riders a false sense of security, and in some situations, can be more dangerous than not wearing a helmet at all.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has certain requirements that bicycle helmets must meet in order to be sold in stores. If a helmet fails to meet these standards during testing, the manufacturer must issue a recall. Manufacturers may issue recalls that are not required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) if they do not feel their product meets expectations, even if it passes required tests.

Most issues that would cause a helmet to be defective involve poor design, faulty materials, or negligent manufacturing. Faulty chin straps or strap rivets can cause helmets to come loose during an accident, rendering the helmet useless (or at least less effective). Problems with the shell of a helmet can mean that forces of impact would not be properly distributed. Faulty lining or padding could cause similar issues. Missing information or mislabeling can lead people to use helmets while performing activities for which they are not designed. For example, a skateboarding helmet may not adequately protect a bicyclist, and might be considered defective if it does not clearly state that it is only made for skateboard riders.

In order to avoid risking unnecessary injury due to a defective helmet, both serious and casual cyclists should pay close attention to recalls. New recalls can be found on the CPSC website, manufacturer websites, or various other resources online and in the news. Unfortunately, some defects may not be caught and there are situations where products that do not meet CPSC testing standards manage to stay on store shelves. Riders injured while wearing defective helmets may be eligible to receive compensation from manufacturers.

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Label: Bicycle helmets, bike helmet, custom helmets