CFOC3 Content

 
Number of Standards Returned: 3
Content Current as of Apr 20, 2014


Chapter 6: Play Areas/Playgrounds and Transportation

6.4 Toys

6.4.2 Riding Toys and Helmets

Standard 6.4.2.1: Riding Toys with Wheels and Wheeled Equipment

Riding toys (such as tricycles) and wheeled equipment (such as scooters) used in the child care setting should:

  1. Be spokeless;
  2. Be capable of being steered;
  3. Be of a size appropriate for the child;
  4. Have a low center of gravity;
  5. Be in good condition, work properly, and free of sharp edges or protrusions that may injure the children;
  6. Be non-motorized (excluding wheelchairs).

All riders should wear properly fitting helmets. See Standard 6.4.2.2 Helmets, regarding proper usage and type of helmet. Helmets should be removed once children are no longer using wheeled riding toys or wheeled equipment. Children should wear knee and elbow pads in addition to helmets when using wheeled equipment such as scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, etc.

Children should be closely supervised when using riding toys or wheeled equipment.

When not in use, riding toys with wheels and wheeled equipment should be stored in a location where they will not present a physical obstacle to the children and caregivers/teachers. The staff should inspect riding toys and wheeled equipment at least monthly for loose or missing hardware/parts, protrusions, cracks, or rough edges that can lead to injury.

RATIONALE:

Riding toys can provide much enjoyment for children. However, because of their high center of gravity and speed, they often cause injuries in young children. Wheels with spokes can potentially cause entrapment injuries. Wearing helmets when children are learning to use riding toys or wheeled equipment teaches children the practice of wearing helmets while using any riding toy or wheeled equipment. Children should remove their helmets when they are no longer using a riding toy or wheeled equipment because helmets can be a potential strangulation hazard if they are worn for other activities (such as playing on playground equipment, climbing trees, etc.) and/or worn incorrectly.

Motorized wheeled equipment (excluding wheelchairs) used by children in a child care setting does not promote good physical activity (2). Vehicles used by children in child care need to be child propelled rather than battery propelled.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2000 that 23% of children treated in emergency departments for scooter-related injuries were age eight or under (1).

Helmet use is associated with a reduction in the risk of any head injury by 69%, brain injury by 65%, and severe brain injuries by 74%, and recommended for all children one year of age and over (3).

COMMENTS:

Concern regarding the spreading of head lice in sharing helmets should not override the practice of using helmets. The prevention of a potential brain injury heavily outweighs a possible case of head lice. While it is best practice for each child to have his/her own helmet, this may not be possible. If helmets need to be shared, it is recommended to clean the helmet between users. Wiping the lining with a damp cloth should remove any head lice, nits, or fungal spores. More vigorous washing of helmets, using detergents, cleaning chemicals, and sanitizers, is not recommended because these chemicals may cause the physical structure of the impact-absorbing material to deteriorate inside the helmet. The use of these chemicals can also deteriorate the straps used to hold the helmet on the head.

TYPE OF FACILITY:

Small Family Child Care Home, Center, Large Family Child Care Home

RELATED STANDARDS:

3.3.0.2 Cleaning and Sanitizing Toys
3.3.0.3 Cleaning and Sanitizing Objects Intended for the Mouth
6.4.1.2 Inaccessibility of Toys or Objects to Children Under Three Years of Age
6.4.1.3 Crib Toys
6.4.1.4 Projectile Toys
6.4.1.5 Balloons
6.4.2.2 Helmets
Appendix II: Bicycle Helmets: Quick-Fit Check

REFERENCES:

  1. Kubiak, R., T. Slongo. 2003. Unpowered scooter injuries in children. Acta Paediatrics 92:50-54.
  2. Griffin, R., C. T. Parks, L. W. Rue, III, G. McGwin, Jr. 2008. Comparison of severe injuries between powered and nonpowered scooters among children age 2 to 12 in the United States. Academic Pediatrics 8:379-82.
  3. Thompson, D. C., F. P. Rivara, R. S. Thompson. 1996. Effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets in preventing head injuries: A case-control study. JAMA 276:1968-73.

Standard 6.4.2.2: Helmets

All children one year of age and over should wear properly fitted and approved helmets while riding toys with wheels (tricycles, bicycles, etc.) or using any wheeled equipment (rollerblades, skateboards, etc.). Helmets should be removed as soon as children stop riding the wheeled toys or using wheeled equipment. Approved helmets should meet the standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (5). The standards sticker should be located on the bike helmet. Bike helmets should be replaced if they have been involved in a crash, the helmet is cracked, when straps are broken, the helmet can no longer be worn properly, or according to recommendations by the manufacturer (usually after three years).

RATIONALE:

Injuries occur when riding tricycles, bicycles, and other riding toys or wheeled equipment. Helmet use is associated with a reduction in the risk of any head injury by 69%, brain injury by 65%, and severe brain injuries by 74%, and recommended for all children one year of age and over (1-3).

Helmets can be a potential strangulation hazard if they are worn for activities other than when using riding toys or wheeled equipment and/or when worn incorrectly.

It is not recommended that infants (children under the age of one year) wear helmets or ride as a passenger on wheeled equipment. Infants are just learning to sit unsupported at about nine months of age. Until this age, infants have not developed sufficient bone mass and muscle tone to enable them to sit unsupported with their backs straight. Pediatricians advise against having infants sitting in a slumped or curled position for prolonged periods due to the underdevelopment of their neck muscles (4). This situation may even be exacerbated by the added weight of a bicycle helmet on the infant’s head. Because pediatricians recommend against having children under age one as passengers on bicycles, the CPSC does not want the certification label to imply that children under age one can ride safely.

COMMENTS:

The CPSC helmet standard became effective in February 1999 (5). Bike helmets manufactured or imported for sale in the U.S. after January 1999 must meet the CPSC standard. Helmets made before this date will not have a CPSC approval label. However, helmets made before this date should have an ASTM International (ASTM) approval label. The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standard for helmet approval has been withdrawn, and ANSI approval labels will no longer appear on helmets. The Snell Memorial Foundation also no longer certifies bike helmets.

Concern regarding the spreading of head lice when sharing helmets should not override the practice of using helmets. The prevention of a potential brain injury heavily outweighs a possible case of head lice. While it is best practice for each child to have his/her own helmet, this may not be possible. If helmets need to be shared, it is recommended to clean the helmet between users. Wiping the lining with a damp cloth should remove any head lice, nits, or fungal spores. More vigorous washing of helmets, using detergents, cleaning chemicals, and sanitizers, is not recommended because these chemicals may cause the physical structure of the impact-absorbing material to deteriorate inside the helmet as well as deteriorate the straps.

TYPE OF FACILITY:

Small Family Child Care Home, Center, Large Family Child Care Home

RELATED STANDARDS:

6.4.2.1 Riding Toys with Wheels and Wheeled Equipment

REFERENCES:

  1. Thompson, D. C., F. P. Rivara, R. S. Thompson. 1996. Effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets in preventing head injuries: A case-control study. JAMA 276:1968-73.
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tip #7: Play it safe: Walking and biking safely. http://www.buckleupnc.org/pdf/NHTSA_ChildSafetyTip07.pdf.
  3. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 2005. CPSC guidelines for age-related activities. Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. http://www.helmets.org/ageguide.htm.
  4. Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. 2010. Should you take your baby along? http://www.helmets.org/little1s.htm.
  5. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 1999. CPSC issues new safety standard for bike helmets. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml98/98062.html.

Standard 6.4.2.3: Bike Routes

For facilities providing care for school-age children and permitting bicycling as an activity, the bike routes allowed should be reviewed and approved in writing by the local police and taught to the children in the facility. Children should wear safety helmets as described in Standard 6.4.2.2.

RATIONALE:

School-age children who use bicycles for transportation should use bike routes that present the lowest potential for injury. Review and approval of bike routes by the local police minimizes the potential danger (1).

TYPE OF FACILITY:

Small Family Child Care Home, Center, Large Family Child Care Home

RELATED STANDARDS:

6.4.2.2 Helmets

REFERENCES:

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tip #7: Play it safe: Walking and biking safely. http://www.buckleupnc.org/pdf/NHTSA_ChildSafetyTip07.pdf.