Bikes are leading cause of child injury: tips to keep your child safe
According to National Fire Protection Association data, more than 360,000 children were injured in bicycle accidents in 2007. More than half of the 85 million bicyclists in the United States are children and teens, ages 12 and under. Bicycle-related injuries result in more emergency room visits for children than any other sport. Approximately 10,700 American children are hospitalized each year for bicycle-related injuries with an average hospital stay of three days. Nearly 30% of these hospitalizations are from bicycling accidents that involve motor vehicles. The risk of a motor vehicle – bicycle accident increases with the age of the child.
Head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle accidents. Death and permanent disability from childhood bicycle accidents are almost always the result of a traumatic brain injury. Teach your child to ALWAYS wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of brain injury by 85%. Many head injuries could be prevented if the child was simply wearing a helmet.
The Orange County bicycle accident attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie, often see the sad results of bicycle accidents. We’ve compiled this list of safety tips to help you prevent bicycle accidents and keep your child safe. For general bicycle safety tips, click here.
Child Bicycling Safety Tips
• Choose your child’s routes carefully. Children under the age of ten should only ride bicycles on bike paths or sidewalks.
• Do not allow your child to ride at night. At night, visibility is poor and bicycle accidents are far more likely to occur.
• Teach your children safe bicycling habits. Children should learn to use hand signals so drivers know if they are turning or stopping. Children should come to a complete stop before driving across a pass, sidewalk or driveway. Bicycles should always be walked across streets and the child should follow all safe-crossing procedures.
• Bicycle with your children. Not only is this a fun family activity, but this will alert you to any dangerous habits and let you teach them safety rules. Do not allow your child to bicycle alone or with friends until safety rules have become habit.
• Enroll your child in a safe bicycling class. These classes are often offered free of charge by local police and fire departments. They are a great way to reinforce safety rules.
• Make sure your child is dressed appropriately for bicycling. Loose clothing and long skirts can get stuck in a wheel and cause an accident.
If your child is involved in a bicycle traffic accident, you may be wondering where you can turn for help. Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie has experienced bicycle accident lawyers on staff. We’d like to help you. Contact us at 866-981-5596 for a free consultation.