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Bike Sharing and Scooter Rentals: Why Children (and Adults) Need to Bring Their Own Helmets

Aug 09, 2018
image of bike helmets on a shelf

Neighborhood bike-sharing and scooter rental programs have taken off this summer and as safety experts we can’t help but notice how many riders aren’t wearing helmets. While helmet use laws vary between states and cities, it’s a universal safety concern. People of all ages need to wear a helmet on every ride.

Here are our top five reasons to wear a helmet while on a rented bike or scooter.

  1. You only have one brain. Helmets can help protect your skull from cracking when it hits the ground and help keep brain injuries to a minimum. You only have one brain. Protect it.
  2. Be a good role model. Your children and other children in the neighborhood are always watching. When children see adults wearing helmets they will want to wear one too.
  3. Learn healthy habits. Just like eating their veggies and brushing their teeth, if children learn at a young age to wear a bike helmet every time they’re on a bike, they’re more likely to do it out of habit as they grow older. Teach your children and teens now and maybe they’ll think twice before biking (or scooting) without a helmet after they move out.
  4. Small investment in safety. Helmets are relatively inexpensive - both youth and adult helmets are readily available for $10-$25 from mass retailers, online, or your local bike or sporting goods store. If you’re buying a new helmet for your child, let them help choose it. They’ll be more likely to wear something they like.
  5. It could cost you. Some neighborhoods, cities, and states have laws mandating that children wear a helmet while on a bike (http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/laws/bicycle-laws). If your child is caught on a bike without a helmet, you could have to pay a fine. Even if your neighborhood doesn’t have a law, the places your family rides may.

We want children and families to be active, but we all need to take safety into consideration.

Remember that helmets aren’t just for bike riders; children, teenagers and adults should wear a helmet and other protective equipment (wristguards, kneepads, elbowpads) when riding scooters, skateboards or inline skates.

Click here for more information about choosing and fitting bike helmets for your family. 

Featured Expert

Laura Dattner
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Laura Dattner is a research writer in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. With both a health communications and public health background, she works to translate pediatric injury research into meaningful, accurate messages which motivate the public to make positive behavior changes.

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.