UMC and the West Texas Cycling Association are teaming up to make riding safer for children in the South Plains. Two safety education programs are scheduled this month, with kids receiving a free bicycle helmet for attending.
Riding a bike is one of the more dangerous sports for head injuries. One in five sports-related traumatic head injuries occur while riding a bike, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. That’s twice the amount of head injuries stemming from football.
“It takes just a minute to put on a helmet to prevent a permanent and devastating neurologic disease that can occur in an instant,” said Dr. Kerrie Pinkney, medical director of the UMC Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
There were 515,000 bike related injuries and 800 deaths, according to 2010 data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 26,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year for traumatic head injuries stemming from riding a bike. Complicating the issue: only about half of children age 5-14 wear a helmet. Older kids are even less likely to do so.
UMC held a similar event earlier this month in Carlsbad, N.M., and distributed 48 helmets.
Who: UMC Health System and West Texas Cycling Association
What: Safety Education and bicycle helmet giveaway
Time & Locations: Noon – 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, South Plains Mall, outside JC Penny; 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Oct. 26, Sam’s Club