Now that summer is really here, it’s hard to go very far in a city without seeing a person riding their bike. Some are on their way to work and others are relaxing while a few train for competitive races. Unfortunately, according to recent statistics a fair amount of these people will suffer traumatic brain injuries while cycling.
According to the 2010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 275,000 children suffer bicycle-related injuries every year, and roughly 26,000 of those were treated for TBI. Pediatrician at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Eileen Granahan says the children at the highest risk for these injuries are between the ages of 5 and 14-years-old.
There are many steps you can take to help protect your child from these injuries, most notably is teaching them proper bike riding safety rules such as proper signaling and staying aware of foot and automobile traffic near-by. Knee and elbow pads also help keep children safe, but everyone knows the most important article of clothing for a bicycle rider is the helmet. However, many don’t know how to properly fit and wear their helmets.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says a properly fitting helmet should sit slightly above the eyebrows and not slide around the head. The helmet should be worn level on the head with the straps forming a Y shape immediately under the child or wearer’s ear. The strap is supposed to be securely fastened to the point where the helmet stays still on the head, without being painfully tight around the chin. However, the helmet should pull down tightly on the head when their mouth is open.