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FOR RELEASE: May 2, 2002
Health Officials Urge Bicycle Safety
Bicycling is a popular recreational activity and a good source of exercise. Each year, however, more than 400 children, teenagers, and adults in Oklahoma are injured or killed as a result of bicycle crashes. Although the majority of deaths involve collisions with motor vehicles, most serious nonfatal injuries result from falls from the bicycle that do not involve another vehicle. The good news is that there are precautions Oklahomans can take to avoid these injuries.
Bicycle crashes are a leading cause of brain injuries among children 5 to14 years of age in Oklahoma. “Survivors of brain injuries may suffer long-term disabilities or difficulties functioning, “ said State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch. “Even after minor brain injuries, it is not uncommon for children and adults to experience ongoing symptoms such as headache, dizziness, reduced memory, irritability, fatigue, inability to concentrate, and emotional instability.”
Bicycle helmets are almost 90 percent effective in preventing serious brain injuries. Wearing a bicycle helmet is a simple solution to preventing a potentially devastating injury. It is also important to wear a helmet when riding scooters as well as skateboarding and in-line skating.
Helmets are lightweight, comfortable, and well ventilated, and are available in many styles and colors. Helmets with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission seal meet federal safety standards. A helmet should fit snugly, but comfortably on the head. It should not rock back and forth or side to side.
In addition to always wearing a helmet, health officials suggest practicing the following safety tips to stay safe on wheels.
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