May 20, 2019 10:15 AM EDT
A new national survey conducted has discovered not all children wears a helmet while biking, skateboarding and riding scooters, despite evidence that helmet is crucial to prevention head injuries.
According to the study, eighteen percent of parents claim that their child never wears a helmet on a bike ride, and even more point out that their kids skip helmet on a skateboard (58 percent) and scooter (61 percent), as the Hospital National Poll of the C.S. Mott Children on Children's Health at the University of Michigan.
The dangers are significant. According to a 2017 report from the Safe Kids Worldwide and Nationwide's Make Safe Happen program, over 426,000 children, almost 50 every hour, visited an emergency department because of a wheeled sports-related injury in 2015.
Gary Freed, Mott pediatrician and the coordinator of the poll, said that helmets are vital to preventing head injuries in care a child falls or is struck by a car. He pointed out further that it is very concerning that so many children ride bikes and other non-motorized wheeled vehicles without ever using helmets.
They based the nationally-representative poll on responses to questions about non-motorized vehicles from 1,330 parents of at least one child aged 4 - 13.
The results of the study indicated a wide range in the use of safety strategies when children are playing with wheeled-toys outside. Most parents said their child gives cars the right of way (93 percent) and stops their bike at stop signs (82 percent). The majority of parents acknowledged, however, that their child does not use hand signals or walk their bike across crosswalks.
Freed said that unfortunately, a substantial number of parents polled reported that their children do no consistently follow basic safety strategies on wheels. Their report then suggests that families should take more precautions to ensure children are safe, including wearing helmets and understanding safety in the streets.
Out of 4 in 5 parents the researchers investigated in the poll whose child rides a bicycle, most said their child uses sidewalks (73 percent) or parks or trails (59 percent). Also, more children ride on streets without bike lanes (42 percent) than roads with bike lanes (11 percent).
Stating further, Freed explained that in areas that allow it, children should also ride non-motorized vehicles on a sidewalk. Parents should accompany younger children and teach them top safety lessons, including slowing down, using a bell, or calling out to alert pedestrians that they are approaching. Also, children biking on the sidewalk should stop at intersections and walk their bike across the crosswalk, as passing cars may not be looking for a bike to emerge from the sidewalk.
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