New York parents love their children. That means that, if there is a kid’s bike in the garage, there should be a helmet next to it.
And it should be a good one, manufactured with best efforts to truly protect a young skull and brain from impact injuries that might otherwise inflict material and lasting damage.
Make no mistake: Given their free spirits and adventurous natures, kids are magnets for injuries, and there are few things more serious than a traumatic brain injury.
One thing that is truly tragic about a bike-related head injury for a child in New York or anywhere else is how often it can be flatly avoided or at least greatly minimized through the simple wearing of a decent helmet.
The numbers don’t lie: According to data culled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 900 people die annually in bicycle accidents across the country. Reportedly, nearly half a million people visit hospital emergency centers each year for head trauma-related treatment, as well.
Sadly, many of those individuals are children, whose injuries are often comparatively severe, given their still developing brains.
Merely donning a helmet can materially alter a media headline and brain trauma story outcome. What might otherwise spell death can equate instead to a merely unpleasant episode with no lasting repercussions when a helmet’s foam layer is allowed to do its job as a shock absorber and energy dissipater.
One estimate posits that, for approximately every 12 brain injuries suffered in bike accidents by riders wearing helmets, an additional 100 others result for bicyclists who are not protected by proper headgear.
New York State does not have a universal helmet law for bicyclists and their passengers. State law does mandate, however, that all riders and passengers under 14 years of age wear helmets while bicycling.