Nearly 50 percent of parents don’t enforce ‘helmet rules’

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Efforts by Florida legislators to require children under age 16 to wear a helmet while riding a skateboard or scooter have failed.

The Senate bill, SB 266, known as “Max’s Helmet Law,” which required a child under 16 years of age to wear a helmet while riding a skateboard, scooter or other similar foot-propelled wheeled vehicle, died in the transportation subcommittee on Monday, May 8, just after the House bill, HB 147, was withdrawn from consideration on Friday, May 5.

Florida law does require children under age 16 to wear a helmet while riding a bike.

The failure to require helmets while riding scooters and skateboards comes at the same time that a new report on the importance of helmets is released.

Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed 1,600 parents with kids between the ages of five and 14. Nearly 40 percent of parent said they don’t always require their children to wear a helmet when skating or riding bikes, scooters or skateboards.

The organization also reports that in 2015, nearly 50 children an hour went to an emergency department after getting hurt on a skateboard, bike or scooter. Some of those were head injuries, but most were broken bones. Doctors recommend that children wear knee pads, elbow pads and wrist pads in addition to a helmet.

Safe Kids Worldwide also encourage parents to be good role models. 86 percent of moms and dads who wore helmets had kids who also adhered to the helmet rule.

Parents can also help kids wear helmets properly, by making sure it doesn’t wiggle around on the head, and ensuring the chin strap is secure.

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