Safety specialists with UI Children's Hospital remind parents and caregivers to make sure their children have bicycle helmets that fit properly.
Bike helmets are 85-88 percent effective in preventing head and brain injuries, yet just 20-25 percent of bicyclists wear them, according to Pam Hoogerwerf, community outreach and injury prevention coordinator with Patient and Family Services at UI Children's Hospital. She adds that 70 percent of fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries.
"Insist that your child wear a helmet every time they are on a bicycle, tricycle, scooter, skate board‚ anything with wheels," Hoogerwerf said. "You should wear your helmet also," she cautions parents. "Children will do what they see their parents do. This demonstrates to them how important and 'cool' it is."
Hoogerwerf points to an economic benefit to wearing a bike helmet, as well: Every dollar spent on bicycle helmets saves society $30 in indirect medical costs and other costs.