Make sure kids wear helmets when riding bikes, scooters on sidewalks


(NBC News) – Alarming new statistics show dozens of kids are taken to the emergency room every hour after getting hurt on a bike, scooter or skateboard.

A neighborhood sidewalk seems like a perfectly safe place for a girl to ride her scooter, with one caveat:

“Concrete is concrete no matter where it is,” notes Dr. Marcee White of Safe Kids Worldwide.

A fall there is just as dangerous as a fall on a busy road, making helmets crucial.

Safe Kids Worldwide recently surveyed 1,600 parents with kids between the ages of 5 and 14. Nearly 40 percent said they don’t always require their kids to wear a helmet when skating or riding bikes, scooters or skateboards.

The potential for injury is real.

Safe Kids Worldwide says that in 2015 nearly 50 children an hour went to an emergency department after getting hurt on a skateboard, bike or scooter.

Some were head injuries. Most were broken bones.

“It’s not a matter of if kids are going to fall, it’s when they’re going to fall. We want to make sure that when they do fall, they have protective gear on,” Dr. White says.

They recommend helmets, elbow and knee pads.

Experts also say parents can be good role models. 86% of moms and dads who wore helmets had kids who also adhered to the helmet rule.

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