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Children and Safety Helmets

Promoting safe habits while biking or skating


Saint Louis County Helmet Ordinance

The Saint Louis County Council amended the County Ordinances to require that all children and teenagers age one through sixteen wear a safety helmet whenever using a bicycle, skateboard, scooter, roller skates, or inline skates (roller blades). The measure was designed to promote proper safety habits among children and teenagers while playing and exercising. The ordinance took effect on December 26th, 2008.



Free Safety Helmets

A limited number of free safety helmets are available for children ages one (1) through seventeen (17). For a listing of locations click here.




Helmets First

Safety Helmet

Helmets First provides FREE or discounted bicycle helmets for children. We are a non-profit and gladly accept any donations to help us with this mission. ‘The Helmet Doctor’ gives school and group presentations, as well.

Click here to learn more...


Ordinance:


602.600  Bicyclists Under the Age of Seventeen to Wear Protective Headgear.

1.

The provisions of this section shall apply throughout St. Louis County, except in cities having both a population of seventy-five thousand (75,000) or more and an organized health department.


2.

It shall be unlawful for a parent or guardian to permit a child of at least one year of age and who has not reached the age of seventeen to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle, a scooter, roller skates, roller blades or a skateboard unless the child shall wear protective headgear which properly fits and is fastened securely upon the head of the operator or passenger. The headgear shall meet or exceed the impact standard for protective bicycle helmets set by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Snell Memorial Foundation or the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).


3.

Every person reasonably believed by a law enforcement officer to have violated the provisions of this section shall be issued a Notice of Violation on a form approved by the Director of Health. The Notice of Violation shall advise persons to whom it is issued of the dangers to children under the age of seventeen associated with operating bicycles and the items set out in subsection 2 hereof without protective headgear. The Director of Health shall keep and maintain records of all persons issued a Notice of Violation. Any person receiving more than two Notices of Violation within a twelve-month period shall be mailed a summons charging such person with having violated this ordinance.


4.

Every person convicted of a violation of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine of not more than Ten Dollars ($10.00).




Additional Resources:

Additional information about properly fitting a helmet and the science behind the new ordinance can be found below. These documents require the free Acrobat Reader to open.


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How to Properly Fit a Safety Helmet

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Notice of Violation being given to children not wearing a helmet.

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Summary of Municipal Helmet Ordinances in Saint Louis County



Informational Helmet Ordinance Signage Project-2012:

Head injury is the most common cause of death in bicycle related accidents. Nearly 50% of children hospitalized for bicycle related injuries have brain injury (NHTSA, 2008). Even though there have been national, state and local campaigns and legislation to increase the use of helmets, only 41% of children less than age 11 wear helmets when riding bikes or scooters (Cody, Quraishi, & Mickalike, 2001).   Read More ...