May is National Bike Safety Month, and as summer approaches, it is important to remind everyone to ride safely. At Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, we provide bike helmets for children (patients and non-patients) for $10.00 each. Massachusetts requires any child 16 or under riding a bike or using inline skates, a scooter or a skateboard to wear a helmet.
As children get back on their bikes after the long, cold winter, there are some troubling statistics worth keeping in mind: Every year, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 500,000 people in the US are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die as a result of bicycle-related injuries.
Children are at particularly high risk for bicycle-related injuries. In 2001, children 15 years and younger accounted for 59 percent of all bicycle-related injuries seen in US emergency departments and 1 in 8 of those injuries are head injuries.
While studies have shown that a properly fitted helmet is the most cost-effective way to prevent wheel-related traumatic brain injury—cutting the risk by as much as 88 percent—only about a quarter of young riders are wearing helmets.
Visit any of Harvard Vanguard’s 14 pediatric office locations to buy a helmet. To find the office nearest you, please go to our website.