Warm weather is finally here, and kids all over the corridor are breaking out their bikes for some summer fun! Biking is a great outdoor activity for the whole family, but it comes with risks that are often overlooked. More children ages 5-14 go to emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries than with any other sport; many are head injuries. According to the Iowa DOT Traffic and Safety Office, between 2010-2015 a total of 656 children under 16 have been involved in a bike crash. In 2016, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 840 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes–an increase from 829 in 2015.
May is Bicycle Safety Month, and our friends at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Safety Store want to remind all of us as parents to teach, enforce, and exemplify good bicycle safety this season.
Bicycle Helmet Safety Tips
First off, wear a bicycle helmet! This is important for the entire family, not just young children, but for older kids and parents as well. As we know, children learn by example, so be sure EVERYONE has a helmet. Bike helmets for children and adults can be purchased through the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Safety Store for only $9 each (located on Level 1 of the children’s hospital).
Simply putting a helmet on your child’s head (or your own) is not enough to ensure proper safety. Helmets come in various sizes, just like hats. Size can vary between manufacturers, and it’s recommended that you purchase bike helmets at a store that has educational and fitting experts to help you choose the right size and fit the helmet to your head. Big box stores don’t offer that service! It may take a little time to ensure a proper helmet fit, but your child’s life is worth it. Be diligent to ensure each family member has a helmet that fits securely and is worn properly.
Here are some simple things to check:
- The helmet should be level on the head. Keep it low on the forehead with two finger widths between the helmet and eyebrow.
- Make sure the chin strap is tight. There should only be enough room for one finger’s width of space between the strap and the chin.
- Adjust the sliders on both straps to make a V-shape underneath the ears.
- Gently try to slide the helmet back and forth on the head. The helmet should not move more than a half inch in any direction.
- For visual instructions check this out.
Following these steps will lead to safer and more enjoyable bike riding for the entire family. For more bike safety tips click here.
About the Safety Store
The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Safety Store is the first of its kind in Iowa. Open to anyone, the Safety Store serves families across the state. They are committed to making your child’s world a safer place.
The Safety Store offers low-cost child safety products and adaptable safety products designed specifically for children with special health care and educational needs. The products include bicycle helmets, car seats, in-home safety products, and medical alert bracelets, just to name a few. They even have some incredible deals on Thule cycling products including chariots and mounted child seats this year! Please visit the store or call 319-356-3543 for a complete listing of all available products.
Trained Safety Store educators are on-hand to educate families on proper installation and maintenance of the safety products available through the store. These educators are able to guide families to the appropriate products to help keep their kids safe. In addition to $9 bike helmets, the Safety Store also has incredible discounts on Thule trailers and child seat attachments if you’re biking with toddlers or young children. Call for more information on these cycling products!
Location: UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Level 1
200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
Hours: Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to noon (hours vary during home football games)
Contact: 319-356-3543 or [email protected]
This is a sponsored post. ICMB was compensated for sharing this piece. However, we love connecting our readers with businesses and organizations that are enriching our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative!