Before you teach your child to drive a car, you’ll teach them how to ride a bike. While a bicycle isn’t as dangerous as a car, bicycle injuries are potentially serious. One protective measure you’ve thought to take is to get your child a bike helmet. Like a seat belt in a car, a helmet is a simple way to enhance the safety of the rider.
Don’t just settle for the cheapest helmets. New Consumer Reports testing shows that bicycle helmet manufacturers don’t create all helmets equally because some are safer than others.
What the results said
Some of the Consumer Reports test results were frightening. One helmet failed the testing after researchers used a weight to pull at the chin strap to simulate falling off a bicycle and the buckle broke. The researchers repeated the results on another identical helmet. After all, you wouldn’t want your child’s helmet to fly off in the event of an accident.
Researchers conducted a second test to measure how well helmets hold up against force like hitting your head on the asphalt after falling off your bicycle. Consumer Reports did this by using an impact machine to launch the helmets at a steel anvil at about 14 miles per hour. One helmet particularly flunked the test and led to concerns that the force of an accident could compromise its safety.
Finally, a third helmet for children failed a rear impact test, meaning that the helmet may expose the rider to a skull fracture in the event of a bicycle crash.
What you can do
The helmet manufacturers in the study responded to Consumer Reports claimed. One said they were unable to repeat the buckle test, another pointed out that Consumer Reports testing was beyond what the government requires, and another said they’ve pulled their helmets for sale in the United States.
While wearing any helmet is better than no helmet, Consumer Reports feels that you should replace the helmet if you own one of previously mentioned helmets. Having the right helmet will help ensure your child has a fun time on their bike and provide you peace of mind.