Safe on the road with helmet
Children should wear a helmet when cycling. That's right. But that's only half the truth. Actually it should read: Every cyclist should wear a helmet. Cyclists who are involved in an accident often suffer head injuries. With a fall height of at least one meter hardly surprising. Especially as you usually ride your bike on asphalted or paved roads. Severe brain injuries could be prevented by wearing head protection.
Der Helm: notwendiges Übel oder modisches Statement?
Immerhin, während vor 15 bis 20 Jahren Fahrradhelme noch kein Thema waren, tragen heute drei Viertel der Kinder von sechs bis zehn Jahren Helm. Und der sieht auch nicht mehr aus wie ein aufgeschnittener Tennisball – unförmig und mit gelbem oder pinkfarbenem Filz bezogen –, sondern geht fast schon als ein modisches Accessoire durch. Für Kinder ist das kein unwichtiger Faktor. Einen Helm in der Lieblingsfarbe oder mit einem lustigen Motiv werden gerade jüngere Kinder mit Sicherheit lieber tragen. Bei Älteren ist es dann eher entscheidend, dass die Kopfbedeckung nicht uncool aussieht. Viele Experten raten dazu, dem Kind beim Kauf des Fahrradhelms ein Mitspracherecht einzuräumen. Wer seinem Nachwuchs nicht völlig freie Hand lassen möchte, kann – etwa nach Testergebnissen – eine Vorauswahl treffen
The helmet: a necessary evil or a fashion statement?
After all, while bicycle helmets were not an issue 15 to 20 years ago, today three quarters of children aged six to ten wear helmets. And it no longer looks like a sliced tennis ball - unshaped and covered with yellow or pink felt - but almost passes for a fashionable accessory. This is not an unimportant factor for children. Younger children in particular will certainly prefer to wear a helmet in their favourite colour or with a funny motif. For older children, it is more important that the headgear doesn't look uncool. Many experts recommend that the child be given a say when buying a bicycle helmet. If you don't want to give your child a completely free hand, you can make a preselection based on test results, for example.
I don't like it, it's not true
In addition to visual arguments, young cyclists are of course also receptive to rational arguments if they are suitable for children. For example, a comparison with a dent already suffered can be used to explain the usefulness of a helmet. The melon test is even more vivid. Simply drop a melon once with and once without a helmet from a height of one meter to the ground. This shows even smaller children very clearly how well a helmet protects in a fall. In addition, parents should emphasize that the helmet is a normal safety measure, like buckling up in a car. But what use is all this if parents or legal guardians do not set a good example? Only every fifth adult still wears a bicycle helmet. Protective covers for smartphones are likely to be used much more frequently. But rules that only apply to the child lose credibility. Especially since most adults have no better argument than a more verbose variation of the childish "I don't like".
Important information on bicycle helmets for children
1. correct fit: put the helmet on horizontally and turn the locking wheel (normally located on the back of the head). The helmet should sit firmly on the child's head, but should not press.
2. shake test: The helmet should remain on the head even if it is only fixed with the rear locking wheel and your child shakes his head vigorously.
Check the correct adjustment of the helmet straps regularly and adjust them if necessary. This is especially true if your child is wearing a cap under the helmet (e.g. in winter).
4. pay attention to the date of manufacture in the shell when purchasing. Important: Even without a major fall, helmets should be replaced after about three to five years. The material ages and becomes brittle.
5. make sure that the helmet has recognised test seals awarded independently by the manufacturer.
6. your child should only wear the helmet when cycling, inline skating or similar sports. When playing on playground equipment, there is a risk of injury from getting caught.
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