April 30, 2012 -- In 2005, 18 children ages 14 and under died in bicycle-related incidents, and more than 236,000 were injured in 2007.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes. A collision with a motor vehicle causes nearly 90 percent of bicycle-related deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control report that one hundred seventy-nine children ages 14 and under died in 2005 from pedestrian injuries. Nearly 27,500 children received emergency room treatment for pedestrian injuries in 2007.
Many head injuries can be prevented with safe play rules. Below are basic safety tips to keep children safe:
- Children under 10 should ride on sidewalks or safe areas only like a bike path. Teens may ride in the street, riding with traffic, after they learn the rules of the road.
- Require children (and adults) to wear a helmet should be worn every time you ride a bike, scooter, skateboard, in-line skate, ice skate, snow board or ski.
- Make sure children ride bikes in safe areas and never at night.
- Teach children to always come to a complete stop before entering a driveway, path or sidewalk. Look left, right, and left again for other bikes, cars, or pedestrians.
- Encourage children to use the proper hand signals when turning to let drivers know your intent.
- Children should walk, not ride a bike across the street, and cross only with a grown-up.
- Children under 10 should never cross a street alone. Grown-ups and older children should be role models and set a positive example by practicing safe street-crossing rules.
- Teach children how to cross the street. Stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left then right, then left again for moving cars. Wait until the street is clear; keep looking left and right until you have safely crossed the street.
- Never allow children to play in a driveway or parking lot.
Bicycle helmets have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of head and brain injury. In fact, it is estimated that as many as seven out of every eight bicycle related fatalities among children could have been prevented with a bicycle helmet.
Use the following guidelines for purchasing and correctly wearing a helmet:
- The helmet should fit comfortably and not be able to move when you jerk your head from side to side.
- It should sit parallel to the ground, not tilted back, with about an inch (two fingers) between your eyebrows and the lower edge of the helmet.
- Make sure the helmet straps are always buckled. The straps should fit snugly, but not too tightly. The sliding clasp on each side of the head should be situated just below the ears. You should be able to put a finger under the closed strap against your neck.
- Getting the fit "just right" is a matter of trial and error, using the pads provided by the manufacturer and the strap adjustments. Try several helmets in the store; not all helmet styles will fit all heads equally well.
Need a bicycle helmet? Visit the locations below and purchase a discounted bicycle and multi-sport helmets for $5.00 each!
Legacy Emanuel Hospital (Atrium)
2801 N Gantenbein Ave - Portland,Oregon
Friday, May 18, 2012
3 PM to 5 PM
Tualatin Try-Athlon, Tualatin High School
22300 SW Boones Ferry Rd.,Tualatin, OR 97062
Saturday, June 2, 2012
8 AM to 12:30 PM
Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center
Healthy Kids Fair
2211 NE 139th St – Vancouver,WA
Saturday June 9, 2012
10 AM to 2 PM
Good in the Neighborhood
Lillis-Albina Park (corner of N. Russell & Flint Streets)
Saturday, June 23, 2012
12 PM to 4 PM