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Child bicycle accident rates and safety tips

This holiday season, countless children all across the state of California will receive bicycles as gifts. And while a bicycle offers the promise of outdoor adventures and hours of fun, it can also present a number of very real and serious safety concerns for young riders. Parents and children alike can help to ensure their own safety, as well as that of other kids, by recognizing basic bicycle safety concerns and precautions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicycle riders at or under the age of 14 made up 8 percent of the 726 cyclists that died in vehicle-related bicycle accident incidents in 2012. And of the 58 child fatalities that year, the vast majority involved males. Similarly, around 9,000 of the 49,000 cyclists who were injured in car accidents were 14 years old or younger in 2012. The number of children that died in bicycle accidents was considerably lower than statistics from almost a decade earlier, but still illustrate that more can and should be done to protect young bicycle riders.

Fortunately, there are a number of simple and practical steps that caregivers and children can take to promote bicycle safety. Safe Kids Worldwide explains that many serious bicycle accident injuries can be prevented by ensuring that kids wear bicycle helmets while riding at all times. And while having a helmet is the first step to keeping a child safe on his or her bicycle, it’s just as important to make sure that the helmet in question fits properly. Once it is determined that the helmet is of the appropriate size and model for bicycle riding, parents are advised to participate with their children and encourage safe bicycling habits.

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