I’m noticing a concerning trend as I look around town: Kids riding e-bikes and powered scooters without helmets.

Gearheads know

As parents, we never forget to gear up our kids with a helmet when they head out on skis, snowboards, mountain bikes or skateboards. It’s the same logic here with e-bikes and electric scooters — and we have an obligation to help our kids see it this way too.

Did you know that wearing a properly fitted helmet reduces the risk of serious head and brain injury by 65-85%? Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability, contributing to nearly 33% of all deaths in the U.S.

Helmets reduce the risk of moderate to severe head injury with traumatic injuries, so if you’re riding an e-bike or electric scooter, you need a helmet.

It’s also Colorado law!

Anyone on a Class 3 electric bicycle who is under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.

Choosing the right helmet

Make sure it fits properly! Use the 2-2-2 rule: Two fingers width between eyebrow and helmet (child’s fingers). Two straps make the “V” under and slightly in front of each earlobe. Two fingers between the chin and chinstrap.

Be sure to look for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker inside the helmet

A CPSC certification ensures the helmet will provide a high level of protection in case of any impact.

For kids riding on e-bikes and electric scooters, I recommend a helmet with MIPS technology, which works to reduce injuries to the brain by replicating the brain’s protective functions, including a layer that allows the helmet to slide. You can learn more about MIPS here.

Electric reality

E-bikes can go upwards of 25 mph, so there is a substantial risk of a significant head injury should someone fall off a moving e-bike. And the risk of serious injury is only further augmented should there a collision with a stationary object or an oncoming vehicle.

If your kids are having “the best summer ever” riding around on an e-bike or electric scooter, let the trade-off be simple: They must wear a helmet.

Wearing a helmet is a good idea for adults too, especially if you are riding home after a festival or an evening in the park watching softball.

I hope to see you and your kids around this summer — just not in the Emergency Department!

Stay safe,

Dr. Diana Koelliker