July 1, 2010 – On March 3rd, the Colorado House of Representatives voted on legislation that would require children under the age of 18 to wear a bicycle helmet. The vote, 33-32, narrowly passed muster. Ironically, the vote was taken only days after Governor Ritter suffered major injuries after an accident on his bike. The Governor fortunately was wearing his helmet!
It seems an obvious smart choice to wear a helmet while riding a bike. Unfortunately, the facts are that almost 200 children under the age of 15 die each year from bicycle-related injuries, almost 9,000 children are hospitalized, and over 340,000 children were treated and released by ERs for bicycle-related injuries.
I actually took my kids outside and showed them what happens to a watermelon that gets thrown on the pavement – the same effect as a human head hitting the concrete. Children need to know the risk they run when they don’t wear their helmet. Parents must model this behavior by wearing their own helmet and also discussing the importance of protecting your noggin with their kids.