NEW YORK — As the school year ends and summer kicks off, kids across the country will be jumping on their bikes. But new research shows hundreds of thousands are injured every year.
12-year-old Callie Morales is learning the basics of riding a bike on this field trip.
“If you dont do these things and you own a bike, you can get hurt,” she says.
She and her classmates are taking a safety and cycling course offered by “Bike New York.”
Richard Conroy is Director of Education Bike New York. “We offer free classes and programs for adults and kids all over New York City to teach them bike skills, bike safety knowledge and rules of the road.”
A new study from nationwide children’s hospital shows 25 kids are treated in emergency rooms every hour for bike-related injuries.
“The most common types of injuries were to the upper extremities,” explains Lara McKenzie, PhD, with the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “We saw things like cuts, bruises, fractures, scrapes, And then also traumatic brain injuries.”
The study looked at children ages 5 to 17 over a ten year period. Dr. McKenzie says brain injuries account for 11 percent of all injuries.
“The 10-14 year olds tend not to wear the helmets as much but that’s the group that was injured the most so we really need to encourage that age group.”
Fewer than half of the states in the U.S. have bike helmet laws, even though studies show wearing a helmet reduces injuries and keeps kids safer.
A reporter asked Callie, “What’s the right way to have a bike helmet on?”
“Well, first are the straps. You need to be able to tighten the straps and it has to be two fingers wide,” she says.
Researchers say kids are also more likely to put on a helmet if they see their parents wearing one so it’s critical to set a good example.
The study also shows boys are more likely to get injured then girls.
(Nikki Battiste, CBS News)