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Front Page » June 3, 2004 » Local News » Safety training cuts youth summer injury risks
Published 3,703 days ago

Safety training cuts youth summer injury risks


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By KAREN BASSO
Sun Advocate reporter


Before hopping on a bike or scooter, local youth should put on the proper safety gear. The most important piece of safety equipment a child can wear is a helmet. Although helmets do not prevent accidents, the devices can save lives and reduce the risk of serious brain injury when a fall occurs.

School is out and the weather continues to heat up in Castle Valley.

Spring and summer are the time of year when children across Carbon County head outdoors to enjoy a full day of activities.

The possibility that an afternoon of fun and games could turn disastrous is ever present, though.

In order to prevent serious injury to children, adults should make safety a priority.

According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, more children are killed or disabled each year by unintentional injuries than kidnapping, drugs and disease combined.

To prevent injury, adults should think and practice safety and pass the skills on to children.

Carbon County children can be found throughout the area riding bicycles during the summer, an activity that can be the cause of many warm month injuries.

Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that children wear proper safety gear and follow biking rules.

Before a child ever hops on a bike or a scooter, make sure that they are wearing proper protective gear.

One of the most important safety measures parents, guardians and caregivers can take toward protecting children is to require the youngsters to wear helmets at all times while riding bicycles.

A safety helmet should fit comfortably and not move around on the child's head.

Loose and tilted helmets provide significantly less protection in a crash, according to the Utah Safe Kids Coalition.

Also, adults should make sure the helmet is level and the strap is snug on the child's head.

A helmet can't prevent a child from crashing, but the device can reduce the risk of brain injury.

According to the campaign, nearly 50,000 bicyclists suffer serious head injuries each year.

If a child refuses to wear a helmet, the Utah Safe Kids Coalition offers several ideas that may change the youngster's habits.

The coalition recommends that Carbon County adults:

•Set a good example by wearing a helmet when riding a bike.

•Point out athletes who use helmets. Baseball, football and hockey players all wear helmets.

•Have children pick out the helmets.

•Never allow the youngsters to ride or skate without a helmet.

•Praise children for wearing the safety helmets.

•Start the helmet habit early with the child's first wheels.

Children should also be informed of proper bicycle etiquette.

Adults should explain and make sure that children understand proper hand signals.

In addition, adults should demonstrate and practice crossing streets.

It is recommended by injury prevention specialists that cycling should be restricted to sidewalks, paths and driveways until a child can show how well they ride and observe basic rules of the road.

Whether on a bike or on foot, children cross Carbon County streets alone quite frequently.

It is recommended that parents should cross the street hundreds of times with young children before ever letting them go alone.

Safety experts explain that children should learn street safety as soon as they are ready to walk outdoors.

Kids learn traffic safety by watching and doing.

Experts recommend that parents walk with their children and be role models for them.

The following safety tips may help children learn how to cross streets without incident:

•Adults should teach youngsters to stop at the curb or edge of the road and never run into a street.

•Parents, guardians and caregivers should instruct youth to listen and look for traffic to the left, to the right and to the left again.


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