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Children's Bicycle Accidents

The sheer number of dangers children face every time they get on a bike is astounding. As parents, we understand that you want to protect your child, but that you need to let them exercise some independence. The following resources will help you do both; and should the unthinkable happen, our family can help your family get through it.

The Dangers Are Real

  • In 2012, 726 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in the U.S. [1]
  • In 2011, 119 U.S. children under the age of 19 died while riding a bicycle [2]
  • An estimated 800 children between 1 and 4 years old sustain injuries requiring hospital treatment each year in New York State. [3]
  • Helmets can reduce the chances of a head injury by 45%, brain injury by 33%, and fatal injury by 29%
  • An estimated 55% of children do not wear a helmet while riding a bicycle

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

  • Motorist Error — Whether the motorist fails to observe a stop sign, or your child's right of way on their bicycle, these accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.
  • Environmental Hazards — Young children should always ride their bicycles on sidewalks to avoid as many hazards of the road as possible. However, broken sidewalks may not be obviously dangerous to children. Nor might loose gravel. This is especially true if the child is moving at speed, and thus compounding the dangers posed by hazards in their environment.
  • Mechanical Failure — Just as we must keep up with maintenance in our homes and vehicles, so too must we keep constant attention on the bicycles of our children. As they get older, it behooves us as parents to further instruct them on how to care for their bicycles. That said, some equipment failures may crop up that were inconceivable at the time. Such examples include the saddle (seat) breaking, chain issues, and brakes failures. (If you feel that the bicycle or helmet were or are defective in anyway, check out this section for more information. Or use the contact form to get in touch with us immediately.)

Possible Children's Injuries Include

  • Road rash — In the most benign cases, this can be as minor as a skinned knee. However, in severe cases your child could suffer from traumatic tattooing. This occurs when the abraded skin is embedded by pigmented debris, common on the face, hands, and legs. [4] Should your child suffer a road rash where there is even a chance of traumatic tattooing, immediately visit the hospital to prevent or minimize the effects of this devastating damage. The tattooing begins during the healing process as the color of the debris is absorbed by the skin, permanently altering the color of the cells that absorb it.
  • Strains and dislocations — Although strains are primarily associated with overuse, some instances of traumatic strain are possible. Dislocations are often associated with how a person falls and if they skid or are dragged.
  • Fractures — What can break, may very well break. Most common are arms and legs, but a startlingly number of accidents also involve craniofacial, dental, and skull fractures as well.

[1] http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm

[2] http://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/skw_bike_fact_sheet_june_2014.pdf

[3] http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/injury_prevention/children/fact_sheets/young_children_1-4_years/bicycle_safety_1-4_years.htm

[4] http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse1018.htm