Wheels and Helmet Safety

Children of all ages are participating more frequently in activities that put them on wheels. Without proper protection, a fall of as little as two feet can result in a skull fracture or other traumatic brain injury.

In 2012, 331 children suffered serious wheel-related injuries requiring admission to UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Even more troubling is that fewer Children’s patients admitted with wheel-related injuries are wearing helmets. Helmet use has improved from 21 percent in 2006 to 29 percent in 2012, but we have a long way to go.

Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by almost 90 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.

It’s not always easy to get kids to wear helmets. So, be a good role model. More children wear helmets when they bike with adults who wear helmets themselves (67 percent versus 50 percent). In addition, helmet use was significantly higher when there was adult supervision than when there was none (47 percent versus 37 percent).

The safety tips in this section can help you keep your kids safe when they’re riding on wheels.