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Nearly half of parents say kids don’t wear bike helmets — It’s the law in NJ

As kids across the country take part in National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, the group Safe Kids Worldwide says a survey reveals that 4 in 10 parents admit that their child does not always wear a bike helmet when they are riding.

In 2015 there were over 426,000 emergency room visits related to wheeled sports. That comes out to almost 50 kids an hour going to the emergency room.

Safe Kids researcher Morag Mackay says better than 1 in 10 bike injury ER visits involves a head injury. She says it demonstrates the need for kids to wear bike helmets when they ride or skate.

“When we start looking at the injuries, we see that they really are a recommended piece of equipment.”

“The good news is that even though bicycling injuries make up about half of those emergency department visits, we have still seen over the last 10 years about a 28 percent decrease in bike-related emergency department visits.”

In New Jersey, anyone under 17 riding a bike or a passenger on a bike is required by law to wear a bicycle helmet.

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Interestingly, an activity that most parents would think is really safe, which is scootering, injuries have increased by 40 percent in terms of the number of emergency room visits over the last 10 years.

Mackay says that among parents who say they always wear a bike helmet, 86 percent of their kids also always wear one.

“We want to see kids out there active. But make sure that they are safe when they are doing it.”

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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