A Children’s Bike Helmet Can Save a Child’s Life – Give Them a Helmet, Give Them Hope
Children's bike helmets can save countless young lives. Did you know that every year US hospitals treat over half a million serious injuries from bicycle accidents? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 33% of all bicycle-related emergency room visits and 67% of all bicycle-related hospital admissions involve head injuries. Head injuries also account for 62% of bicycle-related deaths.
And Research shows that bike helmets can be extremely effective in preventing head injuries. This may seem like a natural assumption but even though thirty seven states now have bicycle helmet laws and bicycle safety awareness is on the rise, not everyone wears a helmet. Some of these people are not just negligent, they simply can not afford one.
In New Jersey, bike injuries dropped by 65 percent within a year after their law was passed. Fatalities dropped by 65 percent. In Pennsylvania, my home state, children ages 5 to 14 years old are reported most at risk of death and injury from a bike accident. According to the National Safe Kids campaign, children's bike helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by almost 90 percent.
But these are not just numbers; they are our children, who have their whole lives ahead of them. There are now organizations that help to get children to wear bike helmets. They are working hard to spread the word, and are giving away children's bike helmets for free to those who can not afford them as well as providing bicycle safety awareness seminars with the hope of preventing tragedies like these. One of them that I know of was inspired by this story.
An eight year old girl named Hope. On Saturday May 5th 2012, Hope woke up after spending the night at her friend's house and went out for a morning bike ride; she did not have a bicycle helmet. As she was riding, she found herself going down a hill and unable to stop her bike. She crashed into a concrete barrier and was rendered unconscious by the blow. Within minutes she was taken by ambulance fifteen miles to the closet hospital that was able to perform the surgery that she needed. Doctors determined that she did need emergency brain surgery and got right on it. Many hours and fifty seven staples later, Hope was laying in the ICU with her fate unknown. Then a miracle happened. She recovered quicker than any of the expected doctors. She beat the odds as related by the statistics above.
Hope is one of the lucky ones, as are others who survive, but the story and the need for bicycle helmet awareness does not end here. Every month, about 350,000 babies are born in the United States. And these organizations, in a few short years, want to educate these new parents too. Some have been helped by local businesses and the public but these causes still need all the help they can get to educate cyclists and provide more children's bike helmets to those who can not afford them.