Going for a bike ride has many benefits – it’s a lot of fun, great exercise and helps to build strong bonds in foster families. But like most sports, accidents can happen and we know how challenging it can be to get a child to wear a helmet.
So, we thought we’d put together some easy tricks that you can try next time you go out for a family bike ride, to encourage your child to wear a helmet.
1. “Helmets give you super powers” We know this will only work for the little one’s, but telling a little white lie like this may be all you need to save a bump to the head – and who doesn’t want to have superpowers?
2. Let them choose their own helmet We’ve all been bought something that we have absolutely no intention of wearing. So why do we think children will be any less picky?
Get them involved in selecting their own helmet – take them with you next time you go to the bike store and let them find the coolest helmet on the shelf.
Can’t find anything they love? Buy a helmet in their favourite colour and then help them to customise it themselves at home. Helmets can be fun after all.
3. Set the rules early We understand that a foster child may come to live with you at any age and perhaps they’ve never had to wear a helmet before. But it’s important to set your rules early on.
Be consistent and don’t let them use their bike before they put their helmet on.
4. Lead by example If you expect your children to wear a helmet, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing one too. That way, it just becomes normal.
5. Explain the importance It’s always a good idea to teach them about the potential risks of not wearing a helmet.
A bump to the head can cause lots of health issues, from something as minor as a scratch or cut, to concussion and loss of consciousness, or in more severe cases brain damage and even death. It’s simply not worth the risk.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful – if you’re still struggling to get a child in your care to wear a helmet, feel free to chat with your social worker, who will be more than happy to help.