Attributable to COVID-19 lockdowns and anxieties in regards to the security of public transportation, there was a gentle rise in gross sales of electrical bikes (e-bikes) within the U.S. over the previous three years.
CHOC has additionally seen a gentle rise in pediatric accidents associated to e-bikes. Sadly, electrical bikes deliver an elevated threat of damage in youngsters, particularly adolescents.
Makenzie Ferguson, damage prevention educator at CHOC, notes that the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Division at CHOC Hospital has handled over 80 sufferers for accidents brought on by e-bikes over the past three years — with 30 of these handled within the final six months.
Right here, Makenzie provides security recommendation to oldsters relating to e-bikes using for teenagers and adolescents.
Frequent accidents brought on by electrical bikes (e-bikes) at CHOC
Of the pediatric e-bike accidents handled by CHOC, the next have been the most typical:
- Extremity (a limb of the physique like an arm or leg) fractures.
- Cranium fractures.
- Facial fractures.
As seen at CHOC, these accidents have been mostly brought on by falling off the e-bike, colliding with a static object whereas using, being struck by a automobile whereas using or being struck by somebody on an e-bike whereas strolling.
Can children and adolescents safely journey e-bikes?
Sure. Youngsters and youths can safely journey e-bikes with precautions in place. When using an e-bike, Makenzie encourages dad and mom to make sure that their children:
Put on a helmet with the chin strap mounted.
Solely about half of the youngsters CHOC handled for e-bike accidents have been carrying a helmet. Regardless of the age, or minimal necessities of the native legal guidelines, all youngsters and adolescents ought to put on a helmet when utilizing any e-bike, handbook bike, scooter, and so on.
Dad and mom ought to train their children the significance of carrying a helmet at an early age and mannequin this conduct by carrying one themselves.
Don’t journey on an e-bike with one other rider.
There needs to be no a couple of rider on an e-bike at a time to scale back the chance of falling off the e-bike.
Have data of highway security.
Dad and mom mustn’t enable their youngsters to make use of e-bikes until they’ve a foundational data of highway security. Dad and mom ought to pay attention to the totally different courses of e-bikes, in addition to native legal guidelines and laws.
Keep seen whereas using.
Dad and mom ought to make it possible for their household is seen to automobiles whereas using e-bikes. Some drivers could take a flip in entrance of you or come dangerously near sideswiping you as you journey within the bike lane.
Select a motorcycle with lights to stay seen after darkish.
Moreover, there are unbiased rearview radars obtainable for buy (separate from e-bike) that may be put in on e-bike. These radars can sense and alert riders of autos approaching from behind.
How previous does a baby need to be to journey an e-bike?
E-bikes are damaged down into the next courses primarily based on their pace and a presence of a throttle:
- Class one: An electrical bicycle that’s geared up with a motor that gives help solely when the rider is pedaling. It ceases to supply that help as soon as the bicycle reaches 20 mph.
- Class two: An electrical bicycle with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to supply pedal help when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.
- Class three: An electrical bicycle geared up with a motor that gives help whereas the rider is pedaling, and ceases to supply that help when the bicycle reaches 28 mph.
There aren’t any present age restrictions for riders of electrical bikes in courses one and two. Class three e-bikes require the rider to be a minimal age of 16 years previous.
A lot of the sufferers handled at CHOC for e-bike accidents have been between the ages of 14 and 16 years. Nevertheless, CHOC has additionally handled youngsters as younger as 2 years for accidents brought on by using on an e-bike with an grownup or being struck by an e-bike whereas strolling.
It’s essential to do not forget that simply because there aren’t any present age restrictions for sophistication one and sophistication two e-bikes, it doesn’t imply that e-bikes are applicable for youngsters of all ages.
What are the dangers related to e-bikes for teenagers and adolescents?
The most important threat related to e-bikes is pace.
Accidents can happen with any wheeled machine like handbook bicycles, skateboards or scooters, however as a result of e-bikes can journey as much as round 30 mph, the pace may cause extra extreme accidents. One other threat related to e-bikes is an absence of operator talent and data. Sadly, there isn’t any formalized highway security course required to make use of an e-bike. Riders have to have fundamental data of highway guidelines and situational consciousness to journey security and reduce the chance of accidents on the highway.
For extra security and damage prevention suggestions from CHOC specialists