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Canada Adopts Child Bike Helmet Standard

Summary: Canada's 1996 child bike helmet standard was too ambitious. Manufacturers could not meet it, and we don't know if it is still current or not.

Source: Canada NewsWire


TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ - Having pioneered standards in helmet safety, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) marks another milestone with its publication of North America's first requirements covering helmets for children under age five.

"We are very pleased with this addition to CSA's cycling helmet standard," says Pat Paladino, Vice-President, Standards Development. "All previous standards were based on impact protection for adults. But now Canada is leading the way in addressing the unique and special requirements of young children."

In order to meet or exceed CSA requirements, bicycle helmets must undergo a series of tests designed to simulate "real-life" conditions like falling from a bike or running into a pole or tree. They include an impact test on a flat anvil, a stability test and a chin strap test.

The new bike helmet requirements are additional to the existing CSA requirements for bicycle helmets for adults. Children's head shapes are smaller and still growing. Since their heads are not rigid, previous testing on rigid head forms did not adequately serve their safety requirements. Helmets designed according to the new requirements will have thicker, less dense energy-absorbing material to better protect the heads of kids under the age of five.

"We think it's important, as responsible adults and parents, to protect young children who are unable to make the right choices for themselves," says Mr. Paladino. "As well as making sure our children wear CSA-certified bike helmets, parents should always act as positive role models and wear their own helmets when cycling."

Parents can look for helmets designed to the new requirements beginning in the fall of 1996.

CSA is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which operates nationally and internationally. It is a leader in the field of standards development and the application of these standards through product certification, quality registration, and information products. CSA's primary goals are improving public safety, preserving the environment and helping manufacturers become more competitive in global markets.

For further information: Kathy Pashby, Continental Communications, (416) 964-5954

10:31e 03-JUN-96

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