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Should Kids Have to Wear a Helmet for Rollerblading?

by Sara Ipatenco

When children go rollerblading, they often lose their balance and fall down. Just as when they fall off a bicycle, a head injury can occur while rollerblading, too. The solution to that problem is to require your child to wear a helmet each time he goes rollerblading. While a bicycle helmet is better than nothing, a helmet made specifically for skating can be even safer.

Benefits

Helmets protect your child's skull and brain when he falls. No matter how skilled your child is at rollerblading, he needs to wear a helmet every single time he goes skating. Wearing a helmet reduces your child's risk of head injury by 85 percent, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Because brain injuries can be traumatic and irreversible, it is essential to require your child to wear a helmet when he is rollerblading, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission backs this recommendation, and adds that children should also wear elbow and knee pads, wrist guards and gloves when skating.

Choosing a Helmet

A bike helmet can work in a pinch, but if your child is a regular or serious in-line skater, he should have a helmet made for skating, according to KidsHealth. Helmets made for skating sit lower on the neck, which protects your child if he tumbles backward while he is rollerblading. Have your child try on several helmets and purchase one that fits snugly and does not shift when he moves his head. Resist the urge to buy a helmet that is too big so your child can grow into it because an ill-fitting helmet will not protect his head.

Proper Use

The most important thing to teach your child is to wear his helmet each time he goes rollerblading. Remind him that even if he is going down the street or around the block, he can still fall and get hurt, so it is essential to always wear the helmet. Teach your child to set the helmet flat on his head so it sits low on his forehead rather than pushing it back. This helps protect the front of his head and offers more protection to the top and back, as well. Show your child how to clip the helmet snugly under his chin so it stays in place, too.

Considerations

Look for a helmet that meets that safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If the CSPC endorses the helmet, there will be a label on the inside, the KidsHealth website reports. Purchase your child's helmet brand new because used helmets might have been involved in an accident or a fall, which decreases how safe they are, HealthyChildren.org notes. Also, check recall information before purchasing a helmet.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images