Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | Posted by LAFD Media and Public Relations
While it generally makes us smile to see a child riding a new bike, skateboard or even a pogo stick (yes, they still make them!), there is one thing we are not seeing in your shopping cart.
In a collective rush to get the bike or skateboard under the tree, many have forgotten an essential accessory to go with their child's gift. Namely...
Along with gloves, knee- and elbow pads, many people have overlooked the importance of providing an approved and well-fitting helmet for their child.
And it's not only about bicycles...
California amended its Bicycle Helmet Law to also require children younger than 18 years to wear a helmet when riding non-powered scooters and skateboards as well as roller (and in-line) skates.
When California's law was enacted in 2003, USA Today called it "the toughest child safety helmet law in the country". Firefighters just call it common sense!
Eight years later, some folks seem to be unaware. So we're offering a reminder, as well as some tips from our good friends at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
First, make sure you know the correct way to wear a helmet. It makes a big difference.
The helmet should be worn flat atop the head, not tilted back at an angle. Make sure the helmet fits snugly and does not obstruct the field of vision. Also be certain the chin strap fits securely and that the buckle stays fastened.
Secondly, make sure the helmet you're using is purpose approved. While most helmets appear sturdy, not every helmet is certified for use while bicycling.
We suggest that adult riders set a great example by also wearing a properly fitting helmet at times when they are required for children.
And finally, if you're not sure about the safety of your helmet or other household goods, don't hesitate to check the recall and safety status of helmets, toys and other consumer products by visiting the CPSC website at: CPSC.gov
Having trouble convincing a child to wear a helmet? Just come by the Fire Station. We'll be happy to show them that cool people always wear helmets!
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department
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