Tougher Laws

By: Amy Gleason
By: Amy Gleason

"If it's sitting on the shelf, it won't do you any good," said Dr. Kent Folsom, director of Rockingham Memorial Hospital's emergency department, sees it all the time.

"Unfortunately we do have a lot of kids and adults that don't wear their helmets in any of these sports that have a high risk of injury."

That injury could keep you from enjoying your sport for good.

"It reduces the risk of fatal injury by 14-times. So you're 14-times more likely to die from a head injury without a helmet," added Folsom.

Since Virginia doesn’t have helmet laws, local law enforcement does what it can to help teach the importance of helmets.

"In our schools, we try to educate from early on and just make it standard practice for them to wear helmets," said Cpl. Felicia Glick of the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office.

Glick says she believes it would be hard to enforce helmet laws, but that isn't stopping some states.

California already had a helmet law for bikes, but now it's been expanded to include scooters, skates and skateboards. If a child is caught without a helmet, he or she will be charged a 20-dollar fine. If the child can't pay, it will be charged to the parents.

Glick says it's best to be a good role model and teach helmet wearing form the beginning.

Dr. Folsom says to make sure that the helmet fits your child and regardless of cost, make sure it has a sticker inside that says it's safety approved.

Folsom says about 20-percent of RMH's injuries from bikes, scooters and skateboards are head injuries. Of those without helmets, two-thirds are fatal.

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