With spring in full swing, warmer weather is on the way. That means you’re probably heading outside with your friends and family to spend time bicycling, in-line skating, or skateboarding. But before you head outside, make sure you take a few safety precautions to avoid common problems that could land you in the Emergency Department.
“Each year we see injuries associated with biking, Rollerblading, and skateboarding that include head injuries, collar bone, and wrist fractures, and major scrapes—or ‘road rash’—due to accidents on pavement,” says Nancy Pook, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department at Kettering Medical Center. “Risk of injury increases at accelerated speed, on inclines, and near traffic, so it’s important to know how to stay safe while having fun.”
Before you head out the door, you can take steps to reduce your risk of injury. Follow these tips to stay out of harm’s way and avoid having an emergency:
Wear a properly fitted helmet
Helmets reduce the risk of serious, long-term head and brain injuries in the event of a crash or accident. No matter which activity you enjoy, helmets are a must and should be worn regardless of age. That means always wearing a properly fitted helmet—even if you only plan on riding for a few minutes or a short distance. Helmets for biking, in-line skating, and skateboarding are all made differently, so get the right one for your activity.
Helmets should be age-appropriate, well-maintained, and worn consistently and correctly. Most helmets are designed to withstand minor dumps or scrapes, but one it’s been through a hard hit or becomes cracked, it’s time for a new one. Look for one approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Gear up in style and the right size
Make sure equipment fits and is the right size for you or your kids.
Check that everything works
Inspect your equipment before every ride.
Always dress for success
In the event of an emergency, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency center. Click here to find an Emergency Department near you.