- Millions of children ad adults ride bikes. Its great fun and wonderful exercise! Most people think cycling is very safe… and it can be if you are careful, follow the rules, and use protective equipment!
- The majority of bicycle crashes occur in parks, on bike paths or driveways. Most bike/motor vehicle incidents occur on “quiet” residential streets.
- Nearly 1 million children under age 14 are treated each year for bicycle injuries.
- More than 260,000 children admitted to the hospital with bicycle injuries each year have suffered head trauma.
- Fatality rates rise rapidly from age 5 and are highest among 10-13 year old. Boys are injured twice as often as girls.
- Fatalities are more likely to occur during warm months (May thru September) – peak hours are after school from 3 to 6 p.m.
- Broken bones and skin abrasions will heal, but injury to the brain can cause death or permanent damage.
- Brain injuries are preventable! The simplest most effective, and least expensive way to prevent brain injuries is to wear a bicycle helmet!
- A safely constructed bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of injury by 85%. Look for a bike helmet with a plastic shell which is certified to meet snell B-90, in addition to other standards (ANSI,CAS, TUV, ASTM). The Snell Foundation Independently tests and certifies helmet; each helmet is registered.
- Helmets work! When correctly worn, they absorb and distribute the impact of a crash, Remember, the brain is fragile and damage to it is permanent!
- Don’t let any child ride a tricycle or bicycle without a helmet! Also insist on helmet use when skating or using skateboards.
- Let each child select a helmet he or she likes and finds comfortable to wear. Make sure you and your child understand how to properly adjust a helmet for a correct and snug fit.
- When you ride or skate, wear your helmet. Your example will encourage your children to wear one.
- Talk to your kids about why it is so important for big people and small people to protect their heads with helmets.
- Begin the “helmet habit” early, while a child is still on a tricycle! It will become natural as your children grow. Encourage other to buy and wear helmets.
- Many states and local communities now have new laws requiring the use of helmets by bicyclists. Check with you local police!
Protect Your Brian – Always Wear a Helmet!
Text based on a flyer prepared by the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury Center, Denver Colorado for the HEAD strong Project.