In 2005, 18 children ages 14 and under died in bicycle-related incidents, and more than 236,000 were injured in 2007. Head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes. A collision with a motor vehicle causes nearly 90 percent of bicycle-related deaths. One hundred seventy-nine children ages 14 and under died in 2005 from pedestrian injuries. Nearly 27,500 children received emergency room treatment for pedestrian injuries in 2007.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) (12/17/08).
Many head injuries can be prevented with safe play rules. Here are some basic safety tips to keep children safe:
- Children under 10 should ride on sidewalks or safe areas only like a bike path. Teens may ride in the street, riding with traffic, after they learn the rules of the road.
- Require children (and adults) to wear a helmet. A helmet should be worn every time you ride a bike, scooter, skateboard, in-line skate, ice skate, snow board or ski.
- Make sure children ride bikes in safe areas and never at night.
- Teach children to always come to a complete stop before entering a driveway, path or sidewalk. Look left, right, and left again for other bikes, cars, or pedestrians.
- Encourage children to use the proper hand signals when turning to let drivers know your intent.
- Children should walk, not ride a bike across the street, and cross only with a grown-up.
- Children under 10 should never cross a street alone. Grown-ups and older children should be role models and set a positive example by practicing safe street-crossing rules.
- Teach children how to cross the street. Stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left then right, then left again for moving cars. Wait until the street is clear; keep looking left and right until you have safely crossed the street.
- Never allow children to play in a driveway or parking lot.