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Bicycle Safety

Every year thousands of children are treated in emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries. Many of these injuries can be prevented if children follow bicycle safety rules and wear helmets.

Bicycle Safety

Riding a bicycle is a great way for children to have fun and exercise. However, the joy of bicycling can quickly turn into a tragedy. Every year thousands of children are treated in emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries. Many of these injuries can be prevented if children follow bicycle safety rules and wear helmets. Therefore, before children take off on their bicycles, it is important to teach them a few tips that can prevent injuries and save lives.

BICYCLE-RELATED INJURY FACTS

  • Almost 400,000 children younger than 19 years of age are treated in U.S. emergency departments every year for bicycle-related injuries.
  • The most common injuries are scrapes and bruises, cuts, and broken bones.
  • Even though the arms and legs are injured the most, head injuries are the most serious and cause the most deaths.
  • 9 out of 10 bicycle riders who die in a crash are not wearing helmets.

WHO IS AT RISK?

  • Boys are more likely to be injured while riding bicycles than girls.
  • Most of the injuries occur to children ages 5-14 years.
  • Older children (ages 15-18 years) are injured less, but their injuries are usually more serious. These teens are 4 times more likely to die from a bicycle-related injury than younger children.
  • Most injuries occur on the street.

PREVENTION TIPS

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Ride with traffic. Do not swerve into traffic.
  • Follow all traffic signs. Stop at red lights and stop signs.
  • Use hand signals to let others know what you plan to do.
  • Walk the bicycle across busy streets and intersections. Look both ways before crossing.
  • Do not ride at dusk or after dark.
  • Children younger than 1 year of age should not be passengers on bicycles. Their neck muscles may not be strong enough to control head movement during a sudden stop, especially with the added weight of a helmet.
  • Children younger than 10 years should ride on a sidewalk or bicycle path instead of the street. Most young children are unable to make safe choices in traffic situations.
  • Make sure the seat and handlebars of the bicycle fit your child.
  • Know a child’s limits. Tell your child where he or she can ride.

 

Content provided by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s