Wheeled sports provide endless hours of enjoyment and great exercise for children, but many may not understand the potential dangers that can accompany these activities. The Kohl's Cares Helmet Safety Program is designed to help prevent accidents when using wheeled sports and recreation devices including roller skates, skateboards, inline skates, bicycles, non-motorized scooters and retractable roller sneakers. Without proper instruction and safety precautions, children may be involved in serious accidents.
In the event of an accident, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of serious head injuries by 85 percent and severe brain injury by 88 percent; unfortunately, national estimates indicate that only 15-25 percent of children wear a helmet when riding. Universal helmet use by children ages four to 15 would prevent up to 45,000 head injuries and up to 55,000 scalp and face injuries annually.
"The most common serious injury we see from bicycle accidents is head injury," said Dr.Ryan Redman, Pediatric Emergency Medical Physician at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. "Helmet use can prevent almost all of this from happening. But parents need to set the example. No matter where children are riding – whether in the yard or on the street - they need to wear a helmet."
For more information on helmet safety, call Children's Hospital Injury Prevention coordinators at (865) 541-8165.
Helmet use should not be optional for anyone in your family, no matter where you are or how short the ride. In many states, it's the law. Here's why: Many accidents involve a head injury, so a crash could mean permanent brain damage or death for someone who doesn't wear one while riding. In fact, each year in the United States, about half a million children are seriously injured in bicycle-related accidents, and most of those injuries could have been avoided if a helmet was worn. To protect against brain injury, make sure your children wear a correctly fitting helmet on every ride.
Click here for more bicycle safety tips from East Tennessee Children's Hospital and Kohl's Cares