Bicycles are popular gifts for Christmas but bicycle-related injuries are prevalent
Monroe, Ga. (Nov. 29, 2021)—The holiday season has arrived and Piedmont Walton Hospital wants the community to think about safety when purchasing toys or other gifts for children.
“Each year during the holiday season, we see patients of all ages in Piedmont Walton’s emergency department with preventable injuries,” said Karen Hust, trauma and stroke program coordinator for Piedmont Walton Hospital. “While we know accidents can happen, we want the community to take steps to prevent accidents that could have tragic outcomes.”
A popular holiday gift for children is bicycles. Research shows nearly 70 percent of children in the U.S., or approximately 27 million aged five to 14 years old ride a bike, making it a fun and popular gift. However, without proper equipment and instruction, it can also be a dangerous toy. According to the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, each year more than 500,000 people are seen in emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries. More than half of those cases are children under the age of 15, and more than one-third of the visits are for head injuries.
“Traumatic head injuries can happen very quickly and are responsible for more than 60 percent of bicycling deaths in the country,” said Hust. “The best way to protect against traumatic brain injury is to wear a helmet.”
Purchasing the right helmet can help prevent injury. To ensure you are getting the right helmet for your rider, follow these tips from the Injury Free Coalition for Kids:
- Always wear a helmet that complies with US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards
- Helmets must fit properly (i.e. never purchase large helmets that children can “grow into”)
- Helmets must be worn properly
- Helmets should rest flat on the head
- Secure the chin strap so that the helmet fits snugly, and
- Helmets that have been through a crash should be discarded and replaced.
For more information to keep your family safe from injury this holiday season, visit injuryfree.org.
For more information on Piedmont Walton Hospital, visit piedmont.org.