Learn to prevent bike injuries

Bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product other than the automobile.
Each year in Canada and the United States, hundreds of children aged 14 and under are killed in bicycle-related accidents and more than 400,000 are injured.
Some 90 percent of bicycle-related deaths are the result of collisions with motor vehicles.
Head injuries are the most serious type–and are the most common cause of death among cyclists. The most severe injuries are those of the brain that cause permanent damage. Studies have proven bicycle helmet use can reduce head injuries significantly.
Children learn bike safety by watching and imitating. As such, adults and adolescents should act as role models and set a positive example by practising safe bicycling habits!
Here are some bike safety rules from the “Risk Watch” curriculum to teach children:
•Wear an approved bicycle helmet every time you ride
Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head and brain injury. Unfortunately, in Canada and the United States, only 15 percent of children aged 14 and under use bicycle helmets.
Many communities are enacting laws to require bicycle helmets for young riders. In Ontario, anyone under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet every time they ride a bike. It’s the law!
•Ride in safe areas
Some people ride their bikes on sidewalks. This may seem safe but it has been stated sidewalks are for pedestrians only. In Fort Frances, for instance, a bylaw exists prohibiting bicycles on sidewalks!
•When entering a sidewalk, path, or driveway, make a complete stop, then look left, right, and back to left.
•Children should never ride their bicycles at night.
•Walk bicycles across intersections.
•When riding on the street, ride with–not against–the traffic flow.
•Obey the same traffic laws as motorists. This means stopping at all stop signs and using the proper hand signals when turning. It is important for both cyclists and motorists to always signal their intentions!
And for all you in-line skaters and skateboarders, it’s probably not cool but wear elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards, when you’re out and about.
< *c>Pedestrian safety
In Canada and the United States, more than 1,000 children are killed each year in pedestrian-related accidents.
Here are some safety rules to teach children to safely cross the street:
•Stop at the curb or edge of the road. Never run into a street.
•Listen and look for traffic to the left, to the right, and to the left again.
•Wait until the street is clear. Keep looking until you have crossed the street safely.
•If a vehicle is parked where you are crossing, look to make sure there is no driver and that the vehicle is not running. Before crossing, be sure you can see beyond the parked vehicle.
•Remember, see and be seen!
If you never need what you learn about personal safety, you have lost nothing. But if you never learn what you need, you may lose everything. . . your family and your life!”

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