Monday, October 19, 2009

Like Pro Cyclists, Children Should Wear Helmets

It was easy to pick out Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France this year, especially from an aerial view, as his helmet was unique and stylish. But that is really not why he wears it. Fabio Casatelli’s fatal bicycle crash of the 1995 Tour de France is just an example of how helmets can save lives.

The UCI now mandates the professional rider wear helmets from the start to the finish of a race, yet there is no federal law-requiring cyclist to wear helmets. Many states require the use of bike helmets for children younger than 18 years old. Regrettably, this is rarely enforced. Although I make my kids wear bike helmets, I’m guilty of passing neighborhood children that are bicycling on the road without a helmet, and say nothing.

Swine flu is a major health concern as it has caused 76 child related deaths in the US since April of this year. However, is just one quarter of the yearly child related deaths to bicycle injuries of which most are due to head trauma. Yet look at the publicity the swine flu gets.

Apparently we cannot leave it up to the government or the parents to strictly enforce children wearing bike helmets. So I would like to commend the Professional Cycling agencies for leading this effort. Mostly, I would like to congratulate the Professional Cyclist for wearing their helmets with a flourish. Hopefully this will encourage the young riders to grab a helmet and “buckle up”. Thanks Guys!

Source: Team Radioshack Cycling News- by Rebecca Jackson, MD- staff writer

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