Many of us have already washed off the bicycle for another fantastic summer but did we do a safety and mechanical tune up? Many of the local bike dealers can provide that service but ensure the proper working order of your bike before you or your family head out for a ride. This week, May 13-19, is Bike Safety Week in Saskatchewan. Do your part to have a safe cycling season by wearing the “gear.” While most parents insist their children have a helmet, many parents and older adults won’t wear one. Why not? Professional athletes wear the gear – why won’t you?
Did you know that:
- Biking is the most popular outdoor activity among young Canadians. Between 86% and 90% of children aged 10-14 are bicyclists.
- Over 100 Canadian die each year from bike injuries. Children aged 5 to 14 accounts for about half of these deaths.
- Every year, over 50000 children are seriously injured in bike-related mishaps
- Almost half of all the children injured are under 10 years old and 25% are under 7.
- 85% of bike injuries in childhood do not involve a motor vehicle.
- Most children who are involved in bike mishaps (85%) are within 6 blocks of home.
- The human skull can be shattered by an impact of 7-10 km/hr, and children’s skulls are more vulnerable than those of adults.
- A fall from 2 feet can cause permanent brain damage; a fall at a speed of 20 km/hr can result in death.
- Head injuries account for 75% of all deaths from bike injuries.
- Cycling mishaps are the leading cause of hospital admissions for head injury in children.
Wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85%, and of brain injury by 88%. Are you wearing yours each time you cycle?
What should I look for in a helmet?
- CSA approval, ANSIZ90.4 approval or SNELLB84 approval
- Get a snug and comfortable fit. Every brand makes a slightly different shaped helmet, so shop around until you find one that’s the right shape for your head.
- Look for large air vents at both the front and back of the helmet to keep you cool even on the hottest days.
- Take the time to properly adjust all your helmet straps and pads to ensure the best fit.
- Avoid wearing used helmet. A used helmet which has been in a crash loses its protective qualities.
- Avoid wearing hockey helmets for cycling. Cycling helmets are made for the kind of protection needed by bicyclists.
But my child won’t wear one ...
- Talk to your child about wearing a helmet.
- Let your child pick out their own helmet.
- Wear one yourself.
- Praise your child when they wear a helmet.
- Plan family outings together when everyone wears a helmet
- Encourage your child’s friends to wear helmets
- Don’t let your child bike unless they wear their helmet
WITH YOUR HELMET ON, YOU’RE READY FOR THE FUN OF CYCLING!
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