Last month, Sakar International recalled approximately 12,655 Tony Hawk Silver Metallic Multi-Purpose Helmets, which Consumer Reports had previously rated a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk.” The bike helmets, sold exclusively by Walmart, were a replacement for another recalled helmet, Sakar’s Dimensions Bluetooth Speaker Helmet, which was also recalled in March 2022.
In a July 14, 2022 notice, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said the Tony Hawk helmets failed to “comply with the positional stability and retention system requirements” when the chin strap buckle broke during routine tests, putting riders at risk for head injury in the event of a fall. As a result, Sakar is providing consumers with a $40 Walmart gift card to facilitate the return of the helmets to the company via prepaid packaging and requests that the helmets not be returned to Walmart.
According to the CPSC, a bike helmet is defined as any headgear advertised as being able to protect a bicycle rider from injuring their head while riding. If a helmet is marketed as providing protection during general use or in various specific uses other than bicycling, it is still considered a bicycle helmet. The CPSC tests helmets to ensure that:
- They don’t block the rider’s vision.
- They don’t come off the rider’s headin the event of a fall.
- The straps that hold the helmet on a rider’s head do not stretch enough to allow the helmet to fall off during an accident.
- They significantly reduce the force to the rider’s head when the helmet hits a hard surface.
Consumer Reports conducts tests on bicycle helmets that are like (but not exactly the same) the tests performed by the CPSC. For example, when Consumer Reports tested the recalled Tony Hawk helmet, it passed the first test but failed two subsequent tests, which led to their “Don’t Buy” rating.
Why functional kids’ bike helmets are important
According to research published by the National Library of Medicine, more than 500 U.S. children were treated in emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries between 2006 and 2015. The study found that those wearing helmets were much less likely to sustain severe head and neck injuries. However, despite these findings, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that many kids still ride their bikes without one.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a bicycle helmet for a child:
- Fit – A snug bike helmet fit is necessary to protect the rider in the event of an accident; while a poor fit will make the helmet uncomfortable, reduce the protection it provides, and make it less likely to be worn. If you’re uncertain about how to fit your child’s bike helmet, take them to a bicycle shop and have them try on helmets with an experienced sales associate. If you decide to order a helmet online, measure your child’s head with a flexible measuring tape at an inch above their eyebrows before you choose a size. Once you select a helmet, remember to replace it as your child grows out of it – you want it to continue to sit just above the eyebrows.
- Features – Most bicycle helmets have a hard outer shell and an inside lined with shock-absorbing foam. Some helmets also include a retention system designed to decrease rotational impact the kind of force that can lead to concussions. Ventilation should also be a consideration, as proper airflow can be especially useful for older kids. For young, fidgety kids, ease of adjustment becomes vital, and the dial on the back of the helmet should be easy to hold and turn.
- Use – Helmets should be worn even when a kid is riding on a sidewalk or in the driveway since accidents don’t only happen in the street. Help your child understand the importance of wearing their bike helmet by wearing one yourself. A 2016 CDC study found that 90 percent of children said they always wear helmets when their parents do the same. Still, that number fell dramatically when parents never wore helmets or wore them only occasionally. Involving your child in the helmet shopping process can also encourage them to wear one.
Always make sure you’re careful when putting a bicycle helmet on your child – if you pinch their chin, they will be less likely to want to wear it again.
Did your child suffer a traumatic brain injury while riding their bicycle because they wore a poorly functioning bike helmet? Harris Lowry Manton LLP handles brain injury cases involving improper bike helmets, and only recommends settlements that will fully compensate your family for all the damages sustained. Call us at our offices in Atlanta at 404-998-8847 or in Savannah at 912-417-3774, or complete our contact form to set up your free initial consultation today. Proudly serving clients throughout Georgia.
Jed Manton is committed to representing individuals and business that have been harmed by the actions of others. With a solid track record, Jed has helped numerous clients who have been seriously injured or who have lost a loved one obtain justice, while holding the wrongdoer accountable.
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