Earlier this year, an 11-year-old Arkansas boy was struck by a van as he rode his bike home from a friend’s house. The driver fled the scene, leaving the seriously injured boy — who was thrown 30 to 40 feet from his bicycle — bleeding on the side of the road.
Thankfully, the perpetrator was arrested and the boy survived the crash. But the incident demonstrates how quickly a fun bike ride can turn to disaster.
At the Law Offices of Alan LeVar, we work with innocent people every day who have suffered injuries because of the negligence of others. When children are injured, the tragedy is even greater.
May is Bike Safety Awareness Month, and we want to take the opportunity to promote bicycling for health — along with bike safety. To observe the month, the Law Offices of Alan LeVar and Recycle Bikes for Kids are partnering to provide free bike helmets to kids.
Starting at 10 am Saturday, April 29 we’ll be giving away bike helmets at the Wrightsville Community Center to any child who comes by. Recycled Bikes for Kids will be there giving out 50 refurbished children’s bikes and Arvest Bank will be cooking out and providing drinks
In addition, we will give away another 100 helmets during the week of May 15-19 at our Arkadelphia office at 702 Caddo St. All you have to do is stop by the office during regular business hours to pick up a free helmet for your child.
Why Do Kids Need Bike Helmets?
As adults, many of us have fond memories of the wind in our hair as we raced on our bicycles during childhood, and most of us didn’t wear helmets back then. But times have changed, and we now know much more about the advantages of bike helmets for kids.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that wearing a bike helmet is one of the most important measures for preventing injuries — especially traumatic brain injuries — to children.
While millions of Americans enjoy riding bikes, fewer than half of riders bother to wear helmets, the agency reports. A study a few years ago found that only 48 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 14 wore helmets when riding their bikes, and older kids were even less likely to don a helmet.
Children account for nearly 60 percent of individuals who seek treatment in emergency departments for injuries sustained while biking. In a recent year, 26,000 children and adolescents received treatment for bike-related traumatic brain injuries. Any bicyclist who fails to wear a helmet when riding is at risk of suffering a serious head injury.
Choosing the Right Helmet for Your Child
Wearing a helmet is critical, because it can reduce the risk of injury by as much as 85 percent. What should you consider as you pick out a helmet for your child?
First, be wary of used helmets. While giving your child a hand-me-down from another relative may seem like a cost-effective solution, helmets should not be used if they’ve been in a crash or have any cracks. It’s possible for a used helmet to be compromised by a tiny crack that you won’t notice.
In addition, make sure the helmet chin strap fits snugly but is still comfortable. The helmet should not be tilted back on your child’s head and should sit low on the forehead.