By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A bike rodeo emphasizing cycling safety was held at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Saturday. The young participants were fitted with and given bike helmets, which they were encouraged to customize.
“We’re giving out free helmets to all the kids, and then the Neighborhood Bike Works is checking out all the bikes, and making sure that they’re safe to ride, and then we’re having them do a skills obstacle course,” Dr. Elisabeth Heal said.
A recent report by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons shows cycling is the top sport for head injuries among kids under 14.
“We see a lot of that in our emergency room here, so I think that’s why a lot of us have a personal goal to make sure that these kids are safe, because we see what happens when kids aren’t wearing helmets,” Dr. Heal said.
The message wasn’t lost on six-year-old Sionne:
“My favorite thing about today is that I got a helmet, so if I fall off my bike, I don’t hurt my head. That’s why I got a helmet.”
12-year-old Kaiana went for a subtle but clear message:
“So far I’ve put on lettering that says ‘So Boss-like.'”
But she’ll be taking away more than new headgear:
“I’ve learned that helmets actually do a lot of good to you. It helps you with protecting your brain while you’re riding.”
Meanwhile, her mother, Sarah, has one less worry:
“I always worry about their head — that’s my major worry. And they rode here without a helmet. So the fact that they’ll be able to ride back home safer, it makes me feel much better.”