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Cycling risks: What to know about riding risks and kids

You want your child to have fun riding a bike. It's good exercise, and you know that it's healthy for your child to get out of the house. Biking can be dangerous, though, so it's important to think about that and what you can do to mitigate the risks.

In 2013, 98 children between the ages of zero and 19 died from their injuries after being involved in a biking accident. The good news is that the number of deaths has dropped by around 62 percent since the reports from 1999 and 17 percent between 2013 and 2014.

While young children do get into accidents, over 50 percent of those who were killed were between the ages of 15 and 19. Eighty-six of the children killed were male.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common among children who get into bicycle accidents. Each year, it's estimated that around 26,000 children are seen in emergency wards for head injuries.

The interesting thing about bicycle injuries is that the number of children who participate in cycling as an activity has dropped by around 21 percent between 2000 and 2010. Despite the small number of people riding, the problem is that many do not wear helmets. This leads to a propensity for head injuries, which could, largely, be prevented with proper helmet usage. According to statistics, helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent, reducing the risk of brain injuries by 33 percent and fatal injury by 29 percent.

If your child wants to ride, be safe. Purchase a helmet and learn good biking techniques to prevent accidents.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide, "Bicycle, Skate and Skateboard Safety Fact Sheet (2016)," accessed Feb. 27, 2018

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