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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Bicycle Derbies Stress Importance of Bicycle Safety

Pennsylvania Communities Offering Programs in May

Learning to ride a bicycle is one of the most exciting challenges in a child’s life - it also can be one of the riskiest. Nationally, about 200 bicyclists under the age of 15 die every year, 75 to 80 percent of those suffer head trauma. Pennsylvania law requires that children under age 12 wear an approved helmet when riding a bicycle.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania SAFE KIDS Coalition and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently awarded Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh with a bicycle safety grant.

Children’s Hospital will be holding three community bicycle derbies to stress the importance of bicycle safety and bicycle helmet use:

  • Friday, April 26, 2002 - From 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Duquesne City School
  • Saturday, May 4, 2002 - From Noon - 2:30 p.m.
    Allen AME Chapel, Manchester
  • Monday, May 6, 2002 - From 2 to 5 p.m.
    Wilkinsburg Family Care Connection, South Avenue Playground

Parents should encourage helmet use at any early age - as soon as a child learns to ride a tricycle or big wheel. Wearing a safety helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 85 percent.

It is just as important to have a proper helmet fit. As of March 1999, all bicycle helmets made in or imported to the United States must meet a uniform safety standard issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A helmet should be placed level on the head. It also should be snug and cover the forehead. Adjust the helmet straps before buckling so it cannot move from side to side or back and forth. There should be about one finger width of space between the chin and chin strap.

It also is important to know that helmets should never be reused after a crash because they are designed to withstand the impact of only one crash. Even if the helmet has not been involved in a crash, it should be replaced every five years. Parents can learn more about bicycle safety and proper helmet use by attending the bicycle derby or by visiting Children’s Injury Prevention Web site.

Melanie Tush Finnigan, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
February 20, 2008
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Last Update
February 20, 2008