Bicycles, scooters, skates, and skateboards send 50 kids to hospital emergency departments with serious injuries every hour during the summer.
Summer Dangers for Kids
When school lets out for summer, millions of kids head outdoors for activities with friends and family. Popular outdoor activities include riding bicycles, scooters, skates, and skateboards. Although these sports provide hours of outdoor fun for kids of all ages, they also create serious injury risks due to falls, crashes with motor vehicles, and lack of proper protective gear.
According to Kids Safe Worldwide, more than 426,000 children visited hospital emergency departments in 2015 due to injuries from wheeled sports accidents. Hospital ER reports show that the most frequently treated injuries were broken bones and fractures to kids’ hands, wrists, elbows, arms, and shoulders, while 11 percent of visits were for treatment of serious concussions and head injuries.
The main reason for injuries from wheeled sports activities is the lack of protection from helmets, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads, and proper shoes. Records from patients seen at Cook Children’s Hospital between 2010 and 2013 show that less than 10 percent of kids treated for bicycle injuries were wearing helmets, and none of the accident victims on scooters, skates, and skateboards were wearing helmets. During ER treatments, fewer than 5 parents admitted that their children always wore helmets and other protective gear while riding on scooters, skates, and skateboards. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of hospital ER visits for bicycle and skateboard injuries dropped, but visits for scooter and skating injuries jumped significantly. Scooter-related injuries increased by 40 percent due to not wearing helmets. Surveys found that only 57 percent of parents made their kids were helmets while riding a scooter.
Preventing Wheeled Sports Injuries for Kids
When summer arrives, many kids will likely be outdoors on their bicycles, scooters, roller blades, and skateboards. For maximum safety, children should not ride bicycles, scooters, skates, or skateboards without protective helmets, wrists guards, elbow and knee pads, and proper clothing and shoes. Research shows that helmets and protective gear can reduce the risk of serious injuries by as much as 85 percent.
Parents can protect their kids from injuries by implementing proper supervision and safety rules.
- Wear properly fitted helmets
- Wear protective gear, clothing, and shoes
- Ride in safe locations
- Ride in groups with adults or other kids
- Follow all safety rules