When your child heads out for a bicycle ride, he or she likely knows the drill: always make sure you’re wearing a helmet when on a bike. Not only that, but it has to be a helmet that fits properly and is worn securely.
What about your younger children, though? The ones who have yet to graduate to a two-wheeler and are still cycling around the neighborhood on three wheels? According to a recent study, children on tricycles should also wear helmets whenever they are riding.
The study — which was published in Pediatrics — examined tricycle accidents across the country from 2012 to 2013. The researchers concluded that there were approximately 9,340 tricycle accidents in the United States during that period that led to children receiving medical care in an emergency room.
Most frequently, those children suffered from injuries to the head, ranging from cuts to the face to more serious concussions. The researchers also found that two-year-olds were most at risk of being involved in a tricycle accident.
In most cases, the children who were injured were treated in the emergency room and then allowed to go home. For 224 of the kids who suffered injuries, however, they required additional treatment and were admitted to the hospital.
The researchers concluded that a few design alterations could lead to safer tricycles, such as decreasing the turning radius. In many cases, accidents are caused when children try to make a turn to quickly, causing the tricycle to tip over.
While these changes have yet to be implemented, parents can take action to protect their kids and make sure they always wear a properly fitted helmet whenever they ride a tricycle.