Rise in traumatic bike injuries for PBC children during COVID-19
The number of traumatic bicycle injuries for children during the COVID-19 shutdown is up 167 percent in Palm Beach County compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Health Care District of Palm Beach County.
From March 15, 2020, to April 27, 2020, eight children suffered traumatic bicycle injuries in Palm Beach County compared to three such injuries during the same period in 2019. Schools in Florida were closed on March 13.
And just as troubling, of the 35 children who suffered traumatic bicycle injuries in Palm Beach County since January 1, 2019, 32 of those children (91 percent) were not wearing a bicycle helmet, according to the Health Care District of Palm Beach County.
“With schools closed, we’re seeing more and more children riding their bicycles and unfortunately, many of those children aren’t wearing bicycle helmets,” said Kathy Wall, Program Director of Safe Kids Palm Beach County. The non-profit Safe Kids Palm Beach County , funded by Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, is dedicated to preventing unintentional childhood injury.
It’s common for a child to have a helmet, but simply choose not to wear it, Wall said.
“Parents need to be clear and firm—to get on a bicycle, you must wear a helmet,” Wall said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s for a short ride or a long ride. A properly-fitted helmet reduces the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent.”
Parents must make sure that their child’s helmet fits properly. To learn how to do that, Safe Kids Palm Beach County has created the following video:
For an on-camera interview about the importance of bicycle helmet safety and other tips on keeping your little bike rider safe, Safe Kids Program Director Kathy Wall is available for interviews and can be reached at 561-628-7897.
About Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County
The Council is a local, special-purpose government created by Palm Beach County voters in 1986 and reauthorized in 2014. For more than 30 years, it has provided leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong.
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