Bike-Related Injuries Are Preventable at Any Age
Young children are five times more likely to be injured in a bicycle crash than riders age 15 or older. More than 280,000 kids with bicycle-related injuries visit an emergency room each year. As the only Level I pediatric trauma center in South Texas, we treat many of these kinds of traumatic injuries. Even among adults, bike fatalities in Texas are the third-highest in the nation.
The trauma team at University Health is committed to the whole health of this community, and we believe that means preventing critical injuries in all age groups.
We’re Part of This Community
Our Injury Prevention Department is an extension of our trauma team. Because we treat so many serious, but preventable, injuries in our facilities, our injury prevention experts spend time in the community. As part of our injury prevention initiative, we educate kids, teens and adults on bike safety, including how to choose a helmet and how to make sure it fits properly.
Bike Safety and Helmet Use Recommendations
Bike riding is a great outlet for fun and exercise at any age as long as you use caution. Review these tips before your next ride and teach your kids how to stay safe on the road.
All riders need a bike of the proper size, preferably with a horn or a bell for young riders. Once you have chosen the right bike, frequently perform this seven-point inspection on your kids’ bikes and your own:
- Brakes – smooth, responsive
- Chain – oiled, tight
- Handlebars – secure on each side
- Seat – fixed in place
- Front/rear reflectors – clean, no cracks
- Tires – no cuts or cracks
- Wheels – no loose or broken spokes
If you and your children ride near dark – either early or late – help improve motorists’ ability to see everyone:
- Wear white or bright colors and reflective materials
- Use front lights, helmet lights, blinkers and/or reflectors
It’s important to teach your children how to ride cautiously and confidently. In addition to wearing a helmet, teach your kids to:
- Make eye contact with drivers at intersections before crossing.
- Ride with traffic, not against it.
- Stay as far to the right as possible.
- Learn and use appropriate hand signals.
- Obey traffic signals.
- Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street or crossing an intersection.
- Look behind and yield to oncoming traffic before turning left.
- Remember, your children are watching you, so be a good example!