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Cool or Not, Bike Helmets Important on Even Short Rides

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Eight-year-old Coleten Jensen was riding his bike recently on the street right in front of his house, but he didn't have his helmet on.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Eight-year-old Coleten Jensen was riding his bike recently on the street right in front of his house, but he didn't have his helmet on.

Coleten didn't think he needed it since he was so close to home. But the unexpected happened. Coleten fell off his bike and hit his head.

"It hit like the rocks and the pavement."

Coleton's mom Jamie came to his rescue.

"Probably like a half a golf ball sticking out right here on his head and then within a couple of hours the swelling had moved and his eye was almost swollen shut. He was having trouble with his vision and just complaining that he was dizzy when he was up moving around."

Mom knew it was time for a trip to the emergency room.

"They had to do a cat scan and and take pictures of my eye," says Coleten.

"He did have a little concussion, so we kept him home from school the next day," says his mother.

Coleten had some of the classic symptoms from a concussion. If you suffer a bump on the head and experience a headache, stiff neck, mental fogginess, sluggishness, memory problems, dizziness, especially nausea or vomiting, it's time to seek medical care.

Coleten was lucky. His injury didn't cause any permanent damage. 

"Once that swelling went down in his eye, then the vision came back to normal within a couple of days he was back to his normal self wanting to ride his bike again," adds his mom.

The lesson this family learned: every time Coleten gets on his bike, the helmet goes on too.

"We've always make him wear his helmet when we are riding long distances when we are riding up by the main road where there's traffic, but definitely from now on he's going to wear it in front of the house

"I wear my helmet now when I bike across the street right now."

Many adults and children avoid wearing a bike helmets because they don't think they're cool. But permanent scars or permanent brain injuries are what is not cool.

Don't think for a minute that your head is going to do well when it lands on hard pavement. Be cool and wear a bike helmet.

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