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Pediatric Health

Riley Hospital is Racing for Safety

Enforcing Bicycle Safety

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May 01, 2010
The month of May in Indianapolis is synonymous with racing. As race fans gear up for the Indianapolis 500, Riley Hospital for Children is teaming up to promote Racing for Safety, a Web-based program to help people plan and present bike safety courses for kids.

Racing for Safety (www.racingforsafety.org) aims to provide a virtual one-stop shop on bike safety information for all children, including those with disabilities or Health care needs. The program provides a step-by-step process through which teens, teachers and educators can develop their own courses to help kids learn about and practice bike safety skills. In addition, the program offers a variety of helpful tools and resources, including information on how to properly select and fit a bike and a helmet.

Racing for Safety is a partnership between Riley Hospital, the Occupational Therapy Program of the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Indiana University School of Informatics, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions and ThinkFirst.

Race car driver and Racing for Safety spokesperson Ed Carpenter, is a father of two young children and is an avid bike rider. Carpenter says he is proud to join with Riley Hospital to promote "a message that is important for all bike riders to learn right from the start. No matter what you're racing, you need to know how to be safe at all times."

Bicycle safety is particularly important to Riley Hospital since bike-related injuries are a leading cause of admission. "We created this program to help prevent injuries and to support families and educators as they work to engage kids about bike safety," says Cara Fast, MSW, Manager of Safe Children Programs for Riley Community Education and Child Advocacy.

Some of the key bike safety practices stressed in Racing for Safety include:

* Always wear a properly fitted U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved bike helmet whenever you are biking.

* Use a bike that fits you, not one you can "grow into." Make certain all parts are intact and in working order. If a conventional bike does not work, use an adapted bike.

* Wear reflective clothing if riding a bike at low light or dusk. Make certain your bike has reflectors, a light and a horn or bell.

* Recognize and know how to respond to street signs, use hand signals for turning and stopping and ride with (not against) traffic.

Riley Hospital also offers low-cost bike helmets, bike horns and bike flags for purchase in the Riley Safety Store. Bike helmets are carried in sizes for the whole family and store staff can assist with proper helmet fitting. The Riley Safety Store is located in the Riley Outpatient Center and is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. To find other Riley Safety Store locations near you, call 1-888-365-2002 or visit www.rileychildrenshospital.com.

Article provided by Karen Bruner Stroup, PHD and Cara Fast, MSW

Tags: Health

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