Remember, parents: Christmas bikes should come with helmets

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Millions of children dream of getting a new bicycle for Christmas.

Sometimes a helmet is an afterthought.

But the National Safe Kids Campaign and HealthSouth want to remind parents and children that wearing a helmet when riding that new bike is the best way to have a safe Christmas and a happy new year.

Head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign, and head injuries can also lead to permanent disability.

"If you're buying your child a 'cool' bicycle, buy them an even 'cooler' helmet," said Pete DeLuca, marketing director at HealthSouth. "Helmets should be brightly colored and fit snugly on the head."

DeLuca recommends brightly colored helmets that fit snugly on the head. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute describes a good fit as being level on the head and snug but not tight. The helmet should move no more than an inch in any direction.

"Parents also need to set the example by wearing helmets when they bike with their children," DeLuca said.

HealthSouth, one of the nation's largest health-care providers, operates outpatient, surgery, diagnostic imaging and rehabilitative health-care services nationwide. Visit www.health south.com for more information on safe exercise.

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