Helmets Should Be Mandatory By Law
Like any parent I want my kids to be safe and protected when we go out to play. In this instance, I’m talking about the safety of wearing helmets. Where I’m from in Norway this is not mandatory – but is hugely recommended and advised by all safety factions. You don’t generally see children without helmets. It’s one of those things you just expect children to wear.
I moved to England and well…I hardly see any kids wearing helmets.
We have a rule in our house about helmets. It’s a very simple rule: No helmet – no scooter/bike.
I recently read an article by ‘bikeradar.com’ stating:
The French authorities will introduce a law in March 2017 requiring all children under 12 years old to wear a cycle helmet approved to European safety standards.
From 22 March, an adult carrying a child on their bike without a helmet or accompanying a child who is cycling without one, will be liable to a €135 fine (£118 / $143 / AU$192). This will apply both to French nationals as well as visitors to the country.
As I said – to me and my family it’s a given. You wear a helmet, if not you’re not allowed on your bike. It’s common sense really!
Some facts on why wearing a helmet can save a child’s life:
- A correctly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head and brain injury by 63-88% ¹
- Even though most injuries are minor, the most serious injuries are damage to the head/face and neck/shoulder often resulting in lasting pain. When cyclists have head injuries, the forehead and temples are the most vulnerable. Even relatively minor head injuries can cause permanent ailments such as headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and sensitivity to light. The most common injury for a cyclist is the head, temples and forehead. ²
- Head injuries are the most common cause of bicycle-related deaths.
Moving on from why I think helmets should be mandatory for children…
I found a really great and helpful video about teaching children to ride a bike!
In the video she also mentions balance bikes – which is something I have always been a great fan of. Sadly my kids have yet to own their own – but it’s def. something I would consider when buying their first bike. At the moment my kids only have scooters, but I do plan to get them a bike at some point.
Apart from balance bike and a normal bike, there’s now also bikes such as electric bikes, which I wasn’t even aware of! Interesting the things you learn while doing some research…
As a person on the larger scale of size, both I and my husband thinks it would be a great idea if we as a family did invest in bikes. That way we could get some well-needed exercise and go on fun trips at the same time. My husband is a little bit apprehensive though, he does agree with my (brilliant!) idea, but he’s worried about taking the kids out on bikes and him being on a bike in terms of traffic and such… :/ Do you have any tips for him?
Do you bike as a family?
And what about helmets – is this something you insist your kids wear? What’s your view on this?
We would really love to hear about it in a comment below!
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.