Christmas is just around the corner. A lot of kids will be getting the trikes and bikes they asked Santa for.
To keep your child safe, please do three things, starting on Christmas Day, when you head out on your fun family bike rides.
Leading by example. Kids learn by watching adults.
- Size the trike or bike to fit your child.
- Make sure Santa includes a properly fitted bike helmet with the new bike.
- As an adult, do not be a hypocrite.
Every year I observe parents being hypocritical by insisting their child wear a bike helmet while simultaneously refusing to wear a bike helmet themselves.
Most people buy a case to protect their laptop computer. Why not protect a child’s computer, (brain), with a bike helmet?
Parents who prepare for family bike rides by properly strapping on a bike helmet themselves are smart parents. Why? Because kids are paying attention not only to what parents say, but what parents do.
Parents who ride without a bike helmet are committing a dangerous act in front of their children that is at the minimum, hypocritical and possibly downright dangerous. Excellent parents lead by proper example.
If a parent fails to wear a bike helmet, the child, with a growing flare of independence, will only wear a bike helmet because the parent made them. As soon as the child rides out of sight, off comes the helmet. It is sad to find the child’s bike helmet dangling off their handlebar after they suffer a traumatic brain injury.
You might ask, How does Joe Boyle know all of this? I am old enough to have been around long enough to have seen it happen. My days and nights as a police traffic investigator taught me there are two ways to learn; the easy way and the hard way.
Parents, please lead by example. If you set a good example, not only will you protect yourself, you may well protect your child.
If my collection of words have failed to convince you, then think about what you will do with the $100 you will save by avoiding a mom and dad “No Helmet” ticket.
NOTE: I am wearing ripped jeans in the photo because I am retired civil servant on a fixed income. Oh, the patrol car in the background? I forgot to take it back when I retired.
Joseph Boyle says
Ooh. I forgot to mention the shirt I am wearing is a subliminal message supporting my concept to keep your child safe. It is a Safe Streets shirt.
Thanks Joe. Bicycle safety is especially important on asphalt roads as there is never a soft landing. Every impact is too hard for our bodies and heads. Of course, helmets work best when properly fitted and securely fastened!
Joseph Boyle says
Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
You touched on another two of my pet peeves. I see people, who apparently only care about avoiding a no helmet ticket, wearing helmets that are obviously not even close to fitting.
The other amazing none thinking act is the person who wears a bike helmet without fastening the buckle. When the crash comes, those helmets will fly off down the road for about 20′ depending on speed.
Old Saying: There are two kinds of bicycle riders: #1. Those who have crashed. #2. Those who are going to crash.
Dee Roth says
No one thinks they will die when taking a bike ride, but it happens. The story you described happened to friends whose son rode without a helmet away from home. He died at the scene.
Joseph Boyle says
Thank you for having the courage and the willingness to share your real life experience. Your story makes my heart ache.
While it is my natural style to write my articles with some element of humor, I am totally serious about trying to change readers’ thinking so that on Christmas Day, parents might tell their child, “Tomorrow, we will go buy you a bike helmet for your brand new Christmas Day bike.”
If that happens and we save one life, you, Dee Roth, will deserve some of the credit.