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The Social Diary ~
on-line magazine covering High Society ..& more
Safety - Helmets Save Lives!
The Social Diary Safety Educator Columnist Monica Zech
Column #15, July 5th, 2006
It's summer vacation time, a good time
to remind everyone, especially parents and children the importance
of safety - especially helmet safety. A good friend of mine recently
called to tell me about her nephew who had been outside roller
blading - without a helmet! He was taught to always wear one but
for some reason chose otherwise that day. Sure enough he fell
and was knocked unconscious. Neighbors found him and 9-1-1 was
called. He was lucky, he survived the fall and learned a valuable
lesson the hard way. Working with paramedic-firefighters, and
as a board member of the Safe Kids Coalition at Children's Hospital,
this sounds like a good time for the following reminders about
the importance of safety helmets.
pictured here -
Margo Schwab surfing in the helmet that saved her life.
First, the law - California
law requires that anyone under 18 years of age wear a properly
fitted and fastened helmet while operating or as a passenger on
a non-motorized scooter, skateboard, or bicycle, and while wearing
in-line or roller skates - even surfing! (As the safety educator
- everyone, no matter what age - should always wear a helmet.)
The law also requires that any person who rides in a seat that
is attached to a bicycle or towed by a bicycle must wear a helmet.
Anyone riding motorized scooter should be wearing a helmet.
Why we have a law - "helmets save
lives!" While a helmet may not prevent a crash, it can prevent
or significantly reduce the severity of a head injury - by as
much as 70 percent. Remember - you are protecting your brain!
Use your brain to protect your body.
SUPERVISION - Remember
that a helmet is not a substitute for adult supervision. Children
under 8 years should not use scooters, skates or skateboards without
close adult supervision. Supervision is key in preventing most
of the injuries we see in injuries involving children.
Helmets should have a label that says the helmet meets the standards
of either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
" Have a strong strap that will keep it on the child's head
after the first impact (car) and for the second impact (street).
" Be replaced if they become damaged, especially after a
fall or impact.
" Be easy to adjust or be self-adjusting.
" Fit well: level on the head, touching the head all around,
and comfortably snug but not tight.
" Be comfortable to wear: cool and light.
" All riders should be easy for drivers to see at night and
during the day. At night wear bright clothing or reflective tape
on your clothing. Bikes should be equipped with lights and reflectors.
" Child and toddler helmets should have a buckle that holds
firm in a crash but releases after 5 seconds of steady pull to
avoid strangling. Kids should always remove their helmets before
using playground equipment or climbing trees!
Helmets Should NOT: -
" Move more than an inch in any direction or pull off no
matter how hard you try.
" Have an "aero" tail that can shove the helmet
sideways in a crash and leave your head unprotected.
Note: For additional information
contact the San Diego Safe Kids Coalition: (858) 576-1700 ext.
5704 or visit our websites at www.elcajonfire.com or www.monicazech.com
for more valuable safety information. Have a safe and happy summer!
- Monica Zech, Safety Educator
Monica Zech is the Public Information
Officer and Safety Educator for the City of El Cajon and for El
Cajon Police and Fire Departments. For safety tips please
visit El Cajon
Fire.com In community work, Zech is the President
on the board for the Trauma Research Education Foundation-TREF
and a board member with Communities Against Substance Abuse-CASA.
In March, Monica received the County's 2005 Individual Health
Champion Award for her safety lectures in the community and throughout
and visit Zech's
Web Site ,or Monica
Zech at (619) 441-1737.
to New this Week.......Monica
** photos, video and writing on this site are the
of the author, The Social Diary, San Diego Social Diary, margomargo.com
and Margo Schwab.
reproduction of any part or parts is allowed without written permission
by Margo Schwab