Encouraging Your Kid to Wear a Bike Helmet
Kids tend to follow your lead when it comes to resisting peer pressure, saying no to drugs and alcohol, and refraining from risky sexual behaviors. According to a study, your influence can also encourage your child to wear bicycle helmets to prevent injury.
What You Need to Know
In a study that took place over a 9-year period, children's companions tended to influence whether or not they wore helmets.
- Kids who rode with unhelmeted kids were 71% less likely to wear a helmet, compared with children who rode bikes alone.
- Children who rode with adults or other kids wearing helmets were more than twice as likely to wear a helmet as lone child riders.
- 95% wore helmets when riding with adults wearing helmets
- 77% wore helmets when riding with other children wearing helmets.
- 41% wore helmets when riding with adults who didn't.
- 35% wore helmets when riding alone.
- 10% wore helmets when riding with children who weren't.
How You Can Help
- Make clear to your child that every time he rides a bike – whether with you or with friends – he should be wearing a helmet. Rather than allow your child to be influenced by non-helmet wearers, try to promote his presence as the influential role within the statistics above. And whenever you're riding along with your child, wearing a helmet of your own will be the greatest reminder.
- Impose and stick with consequences for not wearing a helmet when riding. If you discover your child riding without it, you should take the bike away for a week or two. And if you make the discovery yet again after that, increase the length of the punishment. Keep your child aware of the potential consequences to help him make informed decisions in all fairness. Being consistent and following through with the consequences you set will only help instill healthy habits.
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