When I was growing up, helmets were not a part of our safety thinking when riding bikes, skateboards or scooters. How times have changed!
As a parent, former principal and paramedic, I now can’t imagine life without these important pieces of safety equipment. So, why are they so necessary?
Statistically, head injuries are responsible for more than 85 per cent of deaths related to bicycle accidents and wearing a helmet cuts down the risk by 50 per cent.
The cost of a helmet is a small price to pay to protect such a vital part of our body and whilst it won’t totally prevent an injury, a helmet increases the rate of protection from serious harm.
Helmets can also ensure increased visibility of the rider to other road users as reflectors and other visibility enhancers increase the safety of our young people.
A parent’s role is not only to keep little ones safe, but also to guide them in learning how to make wise choices. The best way to do this is to lead by example. If your kids see you wearing a helmet every time you climb on your bike, they’re more likely to follow suit without giving it another thought.
Talking to our young people about safety, including the wearing of helmets when riding bikes, skateboards, scooters and other devices, and leading by example ensures that we are providing our children with the safest way of engaging in fun and exciting outdoor activities.
Lea Martin is Director of School Effectiveness – Primary at Cairns Catholic Education. She is also a former primary school principal and a registered paramedic.