4 things your kids NEED to do when riding a bike
Riding a bike might seem harmless enough, but every year, thousands of Americans suffer bicycle-related injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Kids are particularly vulnerable. In fact, approximately 26,000 bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries to kids and teens happen every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Helmets save lives and can be the difference between permanent disability from a brain injury or being able to return to a normal productive life, says Dr. Richard Fantus, a trauma surgeon at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
“My advice would be to always wear a helmet and be aware of your surroundings,” Dr. Fantus says. “While a bicyclist shares the road with large vehicles and should have the right of way, traffic, obstructed vision, glare, opened car doors and lack of engineered safe paths makes it incumbent on the cyclist to use extra caution when traveling on busy roads.”
To avoid any bicycle-related injuries, here are four things to remember next time you take the bike out for a spin:
- Wear a properly fitted helmet, which should fit securely without obstructing your sight.
- When biking on the street, remember to always follow the rules of the road.
- Depending on local regulations, steer children to ride bikes on the sidewalk or path.
- Wear reflective gear at night, and fashion your bike with a headlight and rear red reflector.
Remember, kids and teens are especially resistant to wearing bike helmets, so it’s important to educate and remind them of the importance of helmets for bike safety.
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About the Author
Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is the manager of public affairs and marketing at Illinois Masonic in Chicago. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.