In Ontario, all bicycle riders under the age of 18 have to wear protective helmets while cycling. Although helmets cannot prevent brain injuries altogether, they will limit the severity of head injuries. However, parents need to note that a bike helmet must be replaced after a fall as they are designed to withstand only one impact during a crash.
Helmets must fit tightly, and because children’s heads are still growing, their helmets must be adjusted or replaced as they become older to ensure a good fit. Some parents make the mistake of purchasing a helmet that is too big initially, with the intention of letting the child grow into it. That might not be a good idea because a loose fitting helmet cannot provide the necessary protection.
Helmet manufacturers typically provide foam pads to help ensure a snug fit and prevent the helmet from moving while the child wears it. Some brands have adjustable inner baskets that allow the tension to be tightened to achieve the perfect fit. Safety authorities advise parents to make sure they buy helmets that are designed for cycling, and that it is certified by Snell, CPSC, CSA or ASTM. Parents are also urged to make sure their children never wear their helmets over hats because it would prevent a proper fit and provide no protection.
Regardless of the many precautions an Ontario parent take to ensure his or her child is safe while cycling, accidents can happen at any time. Although helmets can prevent puncture wounds to a child’s head, they cannot stop the movement of the brain inside the skull upon the impact of a fall. If the negligence of another party causes such brain injuries, the parents of an injured child might have grounds to pursue financial relief through the Ontario civil justice system. Resources are available to provide support and guidance throughout the navigation of a personal injury lawsuit.