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How to Get your Child to Wear a Helmet

Link to Spanish version.

  • Begin the helmet habit with the first bicycle. Then it will become a natural practice as your child gets older.
  • Teach your child how to buckle the straps. Helmet straps may be difficult for young fingers. Help your child practice until he/she can fasten them easily.
  • Always insist your child wear a helmet, even on short rides in grassy areas. Restrict bicycle privileges for failure to do so and be consistent.
  • Be a role model and wear a helmet. Point out older children who wear helmets. Children 3 years older than your child are known to be the best role models.
  • Praise and reward your child each time he/she wears it. Your youngsters may feel strange at first, so your encouragement is very important. Remind them that bicycle racers, racecar drivers, astronauts and many athletes wear helmets, too.
  • Have your child store the helmet with the bicycle. If children have to look for the helmet, they probably won't wear it.
  • Encourage your child to individualize the helmet with reflective tape or stickers. This adds fun as well as visibility.
  • Encourage other parents to buy helmets. Making helmets popular is the best way to eliminate your child feeling "different."

Internet Resources

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised August 2011

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