Do you have difficulty getting your kids to wear a helmet when they ride their bike?

How about getting them to wear a helmet when they ride their skateboard, scooter, or do other wheeled activities?

THE BEST WAY to encourage them is to teach them the benefits of wearing a helmet. Teaching kids bike helmet safety to kids has to be done in an effective manner or they just won’t wear their helmets.

Of course you want them to be safe, but it is not always clear to children why they need to be obedient to this. 

They might tell you it’s not cool to wear a helmet because other kids don’t wear them. Maybe they complain their helmet is hot or uncomfortable or that it messes their hair.

These are great opportunities to teach kids bike helmet safety. They need to hear from you how bike helmets for children and for adults reduce the risk of serious injury.

Practical Steps Can You Take To Teach Your Kids About Wearing Helmets

As adults we readily understand the risks involved in not wearing a bike helmet or any other helmet when we should be.

But when kids are riding bikes and skateboards or doing other wheeled activities, they may not consider the dangers. Their focus and concerns are different. 

Most kids want to fit in, be cool, and be accepted. Children may think wearing a bike helmet is unnecessary.

They may not be aware of how important a helmet is in protecting their head if they have an accident.

Establish a Habit Early

We all do things our parents taught us when we were kids. We formed habits. I can never figure out why bad habits are so much easier to form than good ones and why we can form them without help!

I started wearing a bike helmet before it was mandated in law. I had a bike accident when I was young. Thankfully my head did not hit the pavement.

My left leg didn’t fare so well. Once I was able to start riding again the first thing I did was go out and buy a good bike helmet.

I knew the bike helmet safety statistics showed how necessary and effective a good bike helmet is.

Helping our children to form good habits is essential in being a good parent. Being polite, obedient, and respectful are important habits for kids to learn.

These are qualities most every family wants its children to learn. Most cultures instill these character traits in children as part of regular communication in the family.

We need to instill in them the need to be responsible for their own safety and develop the habit of wearing their bike helmet whenever they ride.

Looking both ways before you cross the street, brushing your teeth properly, making your bed, and wearing a helmet are also good habits. These and other practical life skills must be more methodically taught.

It can be more difficult for some kids to learn them than others.
As parents, we can help our kids form good solid habits by making learning interesting and fun.

We know it’s important for them to wear their bike helmets and we need to teach them to form this good habit early.

Teach Your Children the Reasons to Wear a Bike Helmet

You want your kids to choose to put their bike helmet on every time they ride their bike. You want them to put their helmet on without hesitation and without concern for what their friends might say. This is unlikely to happen if we just tell them they must and offer no teaching or encouragement.

It will be more effective to teach them than to just tell them they have to. Teaching them will build an understanding and a good helmet habit will form more freely.

If you ride, it should go without saying that teaching by example to wear a bike helmet is certainly effective.

Make time to teach your child more than once about topics like:

  • The advantages of wearing a bike helmet.
  • How a helmet will protect their head.
  • How easy it is to damage their head and how difficult it is to repair.
  • Helmet safety facts.
  • How to avoid accidents.

Let Them Choose (and Decorate) Their Bike Helmet

Give them a bike helmet safety course and have a test. Just like learning to drive a car, it is dangerous so we must learn to be as safe as possible.

Their bicycle, skateboard, scooter or whatever they ride are not toys but are their first vehicle.

Teaching kids bike helmet safety should be an enjoyable time. Present them with rider training that focuses on the importance of wearing their helmet.

You can also teach them about being aware of how fast they are going, (many kids are not aware.) Encourage them to be looking at what is beside and behind them, not only what’s in front.

If they are riding a bike, make sure to teach them hand signals and when to use them.

All these things will support the fact that riding can be dangerous and wearing a bike helmet is a good habit to have.

Be a Good Example – Wear A Helmet!

Don’t be a do as I say, not as I do parent. If you are riding anything or playing a sport in which helmets are worn you must provide a good example.

Hopefully, your research into buying your kids helmets and training them to wear them is good encouragement for you also.

Encourage Bike Helmet Wearing in Their Friend Group

Be part of your kid’s relationships. Talk to their friends about the importance of wearing their helmets, especially if you see they have one and are not wearing it.

Praise your child for wearing their helmet so their friends will hear and be encouraged.

Point Out Professional Sportspeople Wearing Helmets

Having good role models to reinforce your teaching about helmet-wearing is very effective. Point out sports heroes your kids like when they are wearing their helmets.

If you find photos or videos of these celebrity sportspeople putting their helmets on this is better still.

Professional people wearing helmets provide you with another topic for encouraging conversation. Talk to your children about how these people are highly trained and educated.

They make the choice to wear a helmet because they know it is sensible and safe.

They must care about what they do and their personal safety because it is their job, their whole life.

Provide Extra Incentive For Your Children To Wear Their Helmets

Have a reward scheme in place. You could have a wall chart or a card you can sign each time your child chooses to wear their bike helmet without being told to.

When they reach a set number, maybe ten or twenty times, you can reward them. Having an incentive it will help them to remember.
Consider having a penalty worked into your scheme as well.

So if they go riding without their helmet they go back one, two, or even three steps.

Don’t make it too difficult to achieve at first and maybe ease up on the penalties if your child is genuinely having a hard time remembering.

If they just forget to wear their bike helmet, it’s one thing. If they purposely choose not to wear it, that is different.

Make A Big Deal Of When Their New Helmet Arrives

Be ready to make an unboxing video when their helmet arrives. Capture the action of them unpacking and wearing their cool new helmet for the first time.

Even record the initial adjustment of their helmet as this will support the need to keep their helmet comfortably on their head.

Post the video to our Facebook group and encourage them to share it with their friends. We’ll join in the celebrations and make a bigger thing of it.

Statistics and Facts

I nearly forgot … here are just a few statistics and facts to back up with your kids why you’re teaching them about wearing a helmet.
Accidents causing head injuries can occur on sidewalks, driveways, bike paths, and parks as well as streets. 
  • You and your children cannot predict when a situation will occur that will end in a fall.  

  •  You love them and value them and their intelligence.   

  •  They can hurt their heads permanently or even die from a head injury. 

  •  More children are in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport.  

  •  Helmets can reduce the risk of severe head injury and brain injury by 88%. 

  • 50% of kids in the USA don’t wear helmets when they should be.

  •  In bicycle crashes, 2/3 of the dead and 1/8 of the injured suffered brain injuries. 

  • Most cyclists who die as a result of an accident are not wearing helmets at the time.