Spring and summer in Southern California—gorgeous weather for all types of outdoor activities. For children, it is the season for skateboards, skates, scooters and bikes; which could also mean it is a season prone to injuries. Do you know how many children are being rushed to the Emergency Room for not wearing helmets and protective pads when they are out on the road?
According to SafeKids Worldwide around 1,200 kids are being rushed to the emergency rooms almost every day – those wheels are sending 50 kids to the ER per hour. Injuries include:
- Fractured Bones
- Serious Head Injuries including:
- Skull Fractures
Some head injuries may damage a part of a child’s brain that has not been developed yet; therefore, making the damage permanent. Head injuries are the most common and often most serious injuries sustained with a bike, skates, skateboards or scooters. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of injury or death and reduce the severity of an injury in the event of a crash. However, even with aggressive bicycle helmet programs and laws, approximately 55% of children don’t wear helmets while bicycling.
The importance of helmets
Bicycling is very popular–in fact, it is estimated that 80 million Americans ride bikes of many different types. In order to participate in safe and enjoyable bicycling, cyclists of all ages should follow safe riding habits. Children and adults should always wear helmets when riding bicycles:
- According to SafeKids, bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%.
- There has been a 54% reduction in the number of bike-related deaths since 1999.
Which helmet to purchase
Here are suggestions for purchasing a helmet:
- Helmets should be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Snell Foundation, or the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- The helmet should fit comfortably and snugly. It should sit on your child’s head in a level position and not rock from side to side.
- The helmet should have a chin strap and buckle to keep the helmet in place.
- The helmet should be made of a hard outer shell and an absorbing liner at least one-half inch thick.
These kids – an inline skater, a scooter rider and a skateboarder – take all the proper precautions before participating in wheeled sports.
Protecting children from injuries
Here are some pointers to keeping your child safe when they hit the road on wheels:
· Always wear protective gear, such as elbow and kneepads, gloves, helmets, and wrist guards.
· Obey all traffic rules.
· Make sure the bicycle is correctly sized to the rider. You cannot control a bicycle that is too large. You should be able to straddle the bike and stand with both feet flat on the ground.
· Check your skates regularly for wear and tear. Make sure the wheels are tightened.
· Do not hang onto bicycles, cars, or other vehicles while skateboarding. We do not want this to happen to you: 16 year old skateboarder dies after unfortunate accident
· Ride scooters on smooth, paved surfaces without traffic, and avoid streets and surfaces with water, sand, gravel, or dirt.
As parents, we never want to discourage our children from having a sense of adventure, curiosity and risk-taking. From a young age most children are born with motivation to master their environment, to be creative… even to discover fear. Experience is a powerful teacher. Our children’s learning will help them reach their potential; they will become more confident and believe in their ability to do things. However, as parents, we also do not want to see our children hurt. We want to protect them. And there are preventive measures we can take to avoid serious injuries. We hope that this blog has been informative and serves as a reminder to keep our children safe while they are out having their adventures on the road.
Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.
Please be sure to read the following References:
“Child safety while on wheels.” NBC Nightly News. 10 May 2017. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/nightly-news-full-broadcast-may-10-941038659655
“For Parents: Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboard and Scooter Safety.” Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved 31 May 2017 from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/non-traumatic_emergencies/for_parents_bicycle_in-line_skating_skateboard_safety_85,p00818/
“Why you need to encourage your child’s sense of adventure.” KidSpot. 24 January 2014. Retrieved from http://www.kidspot.com.au/funzone/Play-Why-you-need-to-encourage-your-childs-sense-of-adventure+7455+571+article.htm