Summer Tips From Nurses: Bicycle Safety
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Bikes share the road with other larger and more dangerous vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a large percentage of motor vehicle and bike accidents can be avoided when precautions are taken.
In 2019, 846 bicyclists of all ages were killed in traffic accidents. To ensure the safety of children, pediatric nurses offer four tips for bike safety this summer.
Although children are likely not riding on busier streets and commuting to work, they do ride through the neighborhood and share the road with commuters.
Be sure children understand road rules and safety precautions like looking both ways, yielding to pedestrians, and slowing down.
Caregivers can help keep their kids safe by getting a properly fitted bicycle helmet and adjusting the bike to fit the height of the child.
Christine Russo is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner who works with the pediatric trauma program at Stony Brook Children's Hospital. She recommends that caregivers develop a "no helmet, no bike/scooter/etc. policy, which reinforces the importance of protecting your head."
Road hazards include puddles, potholes, and broken glass. Although children like to ride through puddles, the ground is often slick underneath and can cause a crash.
Children should also be taught the rules of the road, including watching for cars in the neighborhood and moving over to the side of the street or in the grass when someone is passing.
Parked cars also are dangerous when doors open unexpectedly or the car begins to pull away from the curb.
Meet Our Contributors
Christine Russo discovered her love for pediatrics in the emergency department at Stony Brook University Hospital. She became a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner in 2021 and works with the pediatric trauma program at Stony Brook Children's Hospital and as an NP at a local primary care office.
Jenna Liphart Rhoads is a nurse educator and freelance author/editor. She earned a BSN from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing and a master's in nursing education from Northern Illinois University. Liphart Rhoads earned a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in nursing education from Capella University. Her clinical background includes surgical-trauma adult critical care, interventional radiology procedures, and conscious sedation in adult and pediatric populations. Liphart Rhoads has taught in traditional BSN, RN-BSN, and graduate nursing programs in Illinois, Texas, and Wisconsin.
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