During the summer, more kids in San Clemente are outside riding bicycles. Yet even during the months when school is in session, children and teens in Southern California rely on bicycles for recreation, as well as for transportation. According to a recent article in Safety + Health Magazine, more than 2.2 million kids between the ages of 5 and 17 visited emergency departments for bicycle accident injuries between the years 2006 and 2015. That data comes from a recent study conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Injury Research and Policy.
The study was published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, and it underscores the need for better safety protocols when it comes to preventing child injuries in bicycle accidents in San Clemente and throughout the country.
Bicycle Accidents Lead to Serious Injuries Among Children
Anyone who is involved in a bicycle accident in San Diego County can suffer severe injuries, especially if the bicycle accident involves a collision with a motor vehicle. However, children often suffer more severe bicycle accident injuries and at higher rates than adults. According to the authors of the study, on average 600 kids per day require medical attention for bicycle injuries. Many of the children share certain characteristics, namely age and gender similarities. More than 70% of those kids were boys, and nearly half of them were between the ages of 10 and 14.
What types of bicycle accident injuries are children most likely to sustain? The following are the key findings from the study concerning injury types and prevalence:
- Most commonly injured body parts included arm injuries, leg injuries, facial injuries, and head and neck injuries;
- Arm injuries accounted for 36% of all injuries;
- Legs injuries account for 25%;
- Facial injuries made up about 15% of all reported injuries;
- Head and neck injuries accounted for about 15% of all injuries to body parts;
- In terms of the most common type of injury, the researchers identified bruises, scrapes, and cuts;
- Bruises and scrapes were most common, accounting for nearly 30% of all injuries;
- Cuts account for about 23% of child bike accident injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are also frequent and account for about 11% of all reported injuries; and
- TBIs are most common in kids between the ages of 10 and 14, an age group that represented 44% of all brain injuries.
Preventing Bicycle Accidents Injuries in Children and Teens
The authors of the study emphasize that children need to wear bicycle helmets each time they ride a bike, and that this is the most effective way to prevent serious and debilitating injuries. An article in Kids Health recommends the following safety tips to prevent bike accident injuries in kids and teens:
- Always wear a helmet;
- Wear bright clothes;
- Use reflectors on bikes;
- Wear proper footwear (so that laces cannot get caught in a bike chain, for example);
- Only ride on appropriate streets and roads;
- Follow the rules of the road; and
- Learn and use hand signals.
Contact a San Clemente Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If another party’s negligence caused a bicycle accident in which you got hurt, you should speak with a San Clemente bicycle accident attorney to learn more about filing a claim for financial compensation. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.
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(image courtesy of Dan Gold)