Summer safety tips for bicycling, skating kids

July 6, 2012 5:25:13 AM PDT
Summertime is a great time for kids to be outside, riding bikes, scooters and rollerblading. But the risk of injury is ever present, unless they are wearing the proper protective gear.

Children are at particularly high risk for bicycle-related injuries, as 13 percent of the biking fatalities are under the age of 14.

For children younger than 14, wearing a bike helmet is the law. The accident statistics are staggering. With a helmet, the risk of head injury is cut by 85 percent. Helmets need to be mandatory, not negotiable.

Make sure the helmet fits properly and is snug, but not tight.

A helmet is a must for rollerblading as well. In-line skating crashes can occur even if the child is experienced in the sport. The riskiest situations are when children are learning to skate, skating in the street and crossing the street, as well as by changes in the path conditions like pot holes or gravel.

Kids who rollerblade also need to wear elbow pads and knee pads, and wrist guards that can minimize injuries in the event of a fall.

Dr. Estevan Garcia says while pads will not prevent a broken bone, they can be the difference between a minor break and a major one.

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