The family that cycle together stay together….or it goes something like that!
You may have noticed over the last few months, especially over the summer we have been out on our bikes A LOT. My husband and I took advantage of the Cycle To Work Scheme and invested in two bikes, a bike trailer for the kids that comes with a rain and bug shield and helmets for us all, which we purchased through Halfords. It's been a free form of entertainment and we have had lovely days out on various bike trails, taking a picnic with us. I'm a huge advocate for Road and bike safety, and I'll not lie, when I see kids on scooters and bikes without their helmets (and adults)….I want to go over and tell them or more importantly their parents, to "put that helmet on, protect your little brain and don't be be another statistic of having an Acquired Brain Injury".
As a nurse who has worked in Major Trauma for much of my career, I'm probably more acutely aware of the damage a knock to the head can do, and therefore hyper cautious when it comes to my kids and our safety when on our bikes or scooters.
Every year about 350,000 children in the UK and Ireland under the age of 15 are rushed to hospital Emergency Departments with injuries from falling off bicycles, many of them head injuries that can cause brain damage and life-long disabilities. But these injuries are largely preventable if your child wears a bike helmet, which can reduce the risk by 85 percent. That's why your child needs a helmet every time she gets on her bike, scooter or rides in a bicycle carrier, and each time she skates. Remember, even a bike with training wheels can tip over.
How the skull protects the brain
The thick bone of the forehead, part of the frontal bone, protects the large masses of brain called the frontal lobes. But to keep the head light, much of the skull is more delicate. For instance, the temporal bone around the temple is quite thin.
The skull's nearly-spherical shape efficiently protects the delicate brain against pressure and impact. Since the brain has about the same consistency as jelly, it needs a lot of protection.
Despite this padding, some accidents can cause the brain to shift rapidly and bounce off the inside of the skull with enough force to do damage. A sudden impact can also damage the brain’s tissues or connections between brain cells or cause the blood vessels that feed the brain to rupture. The surface of the head can also be cut or bruised, especially if it hits a sharp object. In certain types of injuries, the skull may be fractured.
How helmets work to prevent injury
In many cases, a helmet can make all the difference between serious injury and walking away from an accident unharmed.
In general, helmets are designed to:
- help the head slow down more gradually
- spread the impact of a knock or a fall over a larger area
- prevent direct impact to the skull.
SET AN EXAMPLE
Adults, especially parents, who wear helmets when riding set a good example for kids. In the "Journal of Safety Research," a study published in 2010 found that from 2001 to 2003, just 48 percent of 5- to 14-year-olds wore bike helmets when riding. This age group is at the highest risk of bicycle-related injuries. Older children may be reluctant to wear helmets because they look uncool or are uncomfortable. If you don't wear one, kids will have trouble seeing the value and importance of wearing a helmet.
Has this made you think about the times you have left your child out without a helmet….even if it's right outside your door for 5 minutes? Halfords are running fantastic competition whereby you can win up to £2000 worth of Black Friday goodies. So no excuses….you can buy your bike, helmet and safety gear!
See here for competition details.
T, A & H xxx
*Sponsored by Halfords