Children's bike safety reminder

Friday 27 September

Parents and children are reminded to follow safety rules when riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, and rollerblades ahead of the school holidays following a spike in hospital admissions related to riding accidents.

Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) Nursing Services Director Emergency Department (ED), Sue Pilkington, said many sporting and activity related injuries are preventable but are seen often in the ED.

“While it’s fantastic to see kids out being active in the great outdoors, we really encourage parents to ensure children are doing so safely,” Ms Pilkington said.

“We see children with everything from a broken arm to a concussion or a major head injury due to riding accidents, and I encourage all parents and children to take simple safety precautions to keep them riding and prevent them having to come to hospital.”

Hospital admission data shows over the last three years, the number of children admitted to the hospital following a cycling accident has doubled, with 40 children admitted in 2016/17 and 81 children admitted in 2018/19.

There has also been a 65 per cent increase in scootering, skateboarding, and rollerblading injuries within the last three years, with 20 children admitted in 2016/17 and 33 children admitted in 2018/19.

Kidsafe SA Acting Chief Executive Officer, McKeely Denholm, said following safety rules is of the utmost importance to ensure children have a safe and enjoyable time when riding.

“A well-fitted helmet should be worn at all times while using a bike, scooter, skateboard, or roller blades to help protect your child from serious head injuries,” Ms Denholm said.

“It is important for children to know that helmets must be worn when riding a bike, even when riding around home.

“Other protective gear can help to ensure your child is protected if they do fall off or have an accident, including wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads.

“Children need lots of practice when riding so we recommend that they cycle with a responsible adult and should always be supervised, particularly on the roads.

“Making sure the equipment is the right size for your child and in good working conditions, including checking the brakes and tyres can also help to keep them safe.”

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