Top Tips to Keep Your Active Kids Safe on their Bikes
- Make injury prevention non-negotiable in your home
- Be a role model and practice safety habits
- Remind your kids of local helmet laws
With spring in the air and summer just around the corner, your children will no doubt be soaking in the sun and taking advantage of the chance to spend time outdoors. With the benefit of nice weather comes activities like biking – and enabling your children with the right mindset and equipment to stay safe while having fun is every parent’s priority.
According to the ThinkFirst Foundation of Canada (ThinkFirst), a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing brain and simply wearing a bike helmet can prevent as many as 9 out of 10 head injuries.
“Injury prevention costs little compared to the cost to our health and social systems, to say nothing of the emotional toll on families,” explains Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, Executive Director of ThinkFirst Foundation of Canada. “For example, for every dollar invested in a bike helmet, we save $30 in social costs. We need to find ways to promote health and reduce preventable injury for all Canadians.”
As a result, one of ThinkFirst’s missions is make the use of helmets “fun, easy, and popular.” But until that day comes, what happens when your five-old doesn’t want to wear that helmet that may save his life?Nesdale-Tucker stresses that parents need to be aware of the consequences of not wearing helmets, and also practice what they preach by wearing a helmet when biking themselves.
“Keeping children safe should be everyone’s concern, but few are aware that injury is one of the leading causes of death and disability for children and youth,” says Nesdale-Tucker . [While] there are a variety of reasons of why someone wouldn’t use a helmet – which may include access to helmets, limited role modeling from parents and guardians, peer pressure, ease of helmet use, cost of helmets…it’s important to be aware that traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are among the most devastating of catastrophic injuries, with twice the death rate of injuries overall.”
Important Stats and Numbers on Bike-related Head Injuries*
– 44% catastrophic injuries sustained were to the head and included skull fractures, concussions, brain contusions/lacerations, and intracranial bleed
– 74.6% of biking fatalities resulted from injuries to the head
– Children and adolescents under the age of 20 years are at the greatest risk for catastrophic injuries
*ThinkFirst-Tator Study (2008)
So when else can you benefit from injury prevention by wearing a helmet? With different types of helmets for different sports, getting informed on the varieties in the marketplace and start wearing a helmet for all wheeled activities – including skateboarding, bicycling, scootering, and in-line skating.
Go to thinkfirst.ca/safetyinfo.aspx to download a copy of Which Helmet For Activity Guide to get the right information on what helmet to use for safer bike rides all summer long.