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The Helmet Update by Email

Volume 19, #2 - July 9, 2001

All issues index

New Video on Helmet Fitting

Most helmet videos are not very inspiring. It is a major event when one appears that is really on target and can be very useful for helmet promotion campaigns. The Pierce County (WA) Coalition of the National Safe Kids Campaign has just produced the best thing we have seen since Jello in a Jar, some years back.

The new video is titled How to Fit a Helmet. It will be most useful for parents or for adults who are being trained as helmet fitters. It should be ok for kids as well. An adult is shown fitting helmets to various kids' heads to illustrate the important points. It shows how to deal with pony tails by moving them lower on the head below the helmet, and suggests that when fitting kids with braided hair the helmet recipient be given extra pads to refit when hair styles change. The video does not attempt to cover rear stabilizers, but in 7 minutes it does a fine job of the basics.

How to Fit a Helmet is available for $15 from:

    Laura Miccile
    Coordinator, Safe Kids Pierce County
    Mary Bridge Children's Hospital
    Center for Childhood Safety
    P.O. Box 5299 M/S 11125-1-CS
    Tacoma, WA 98415-0299



Checks should be made payable to Pierce County Safe Kids Coalition. Congratulations to them for a great video.

Two new state laws added

Louisiana and North Carolina have both enacted helmet laws. North Carolina's law covers kids under 16 and comes into effect in October. The Louisiana law covers kids under age 12 and comes into effect in March of 2002. The Louisiana law is notable for its language on standards. It provides that helmets manufactured after March, 1999, have to meet the CPSC standard, and those manufactured earlier can meet Snell or ANSI. We would have added ASTM, of course. And deleting ANSI might ensure that some kids had better protection, but these distinctions are all lost in the field anyway. The concept of linking the standard required to the date of manufacture seems particularly useful, even if it complicates the law. North Carolina's law provides that "all bicycle passengers who weigh less than 40 pounds or are less than 40 inches in height be seated in separate restraining seats; and that no person who is unable to maintain an erect, seated position shall be a passenger in a bicycle restraining seat, and all other bicycle passengers shall be seated on saddle seats." Child tricycles are excluded from the law, but adult tricycles are included and tandems are specifically provided for. Their state-wide field observations showed 17 per cent helmet use overall before the law. A follow-up can actually determine eventually if the law is effective in increasing usage. Our current list of helmet laws is posted here.

The Helmet Update - Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
Randy Swart
4611 Seventh Street South
Arlington, VA 22204-1419 USA
(703) 486-0100 (voice)
(703) 486-0576 (fax)

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