With school wrapping up this week, more kids will be taking to the streets on their bikes.
Summer is the biggest time for bicycle accidents. Injuries from wheeled sports sent 426,000 kids — more than 50 children every hour — to U.S. emergency rooms last year. During that same period, Norton Children’s Hospital treated hundreds of kids for bike-related injuries, including broken bones, concussions and other head trauma.
“Most bike-related injuries are preventable,” said Sharon Rengers, R.N., Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness. “A little preparation at the beginning of summer can go a long way toward keeping your child from having a serious accident.”
To reduce the chance of bike-related injuries, Rengers recommends following these steps
- Make sure your child correctly wears a helmet and other protective gear each time he or she bikes, skates or skateboards. A helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.
- Ensure your child’s bike is in good working order and isn’t too big.
- Children under age 10 should ride or skate only on sidewalks, paths or other designated areas.
- Wear bright colors.