Injury Prevention

Helmet Safety


More children ages 5 to 14 go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injures associated with bicycling than any other sport.


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year hospital emergency departments treat approximately 26,000 people suffering from skateboard related injuries. Sprains, fractures, contusions and abrasions are the most common types of injuries. Six out of every 10 skateboard injuries are to children under 15 years of age.


Injury Prevention Information

  •  Distracted Driving

  •  Helmet Safety

  •  Fall Prevention

  •  Child Carseat Safety

< Santa Barbara Cottage

Hospital Trauma Center




The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute states that a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of serious head and brain injury by 85%. In 2003, California expanded its bicycle helmet law—to require that children under age 18 wear helmets each time they use a skateboard, inline skates, roller skates or scooter—making the state’s child helmet law the strictest in the nation. In choosing a proper helmet, the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute ( recommends looking for one that is certified by the manufacturers to meet both the CPSC bicycle helmet standard and the ASTM F1492 Skateboard helmet standard. For skateboard use look for the ASTM F1492 sticker inside the helmet if it is a “skate” helmet in addition to any CPSC sticker it may have. The sticker must be in the helmet for the safety certification to be valid.


A loose helmet cannot protect the head as well as one that is properly fit. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that a properly fitting helmet:

  • Is worn flat on your head with the bottom edge parallel to the ground
  • Sits low on your forehead
  • Has side straps that form a “V” shape around each ear
  • Has a buckle that fastens tightly (there should be room to put only two fingers between the strap and your chin)
  • Has pads inside that you install or remove so the helmet fits snugly
  • Does not move in any direction when you shake your head
  • Does not interfere with your movement, vision or hearing

Replace your helmet when it is damaged, outgrown or at least every five years. You may need to replace it sooner if the manufacturer recommends it.

To learn more about Cottage's injury prevention programs, call (805) 569-7575.


For additional information on injury prevention, contact:

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, at