May is National Bike Safety Month, and as summer approaches, it is important to remind everyone to ride safely.Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a nonprofit multi-specialty medical group providing care to 495,000 adult and pediatric patients at more than 20 offices across eastern Massachusetts, is providing bike helmets to pediatric patients and the public for $10.00 each. Massachusetts requires any child 16 or under riding a bike, or using inline skates, scooter or skateboard to wear a helmet.
As children get back on their bikes after the long, cold winter, there are some troubling statistics worth keeping in mind: Every year, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 500,000 people in the US are treated in emergency departments, and more than 700 people die as a result of bicycle-related injuries.
Children are at particularly high risk for bicycle-related injuries. In 2001, children 15 years and younger accounted for 59 percent of all bicycle-related injuries seen in US emergency departments and 1 in 8 of those injuries are head injuries.
While studies have shown that a properly fitted helmet is the most cost-effective way to prevent wheel-related traumatic brain injury—cutting the risk by as much as 88 percent, only about a quarter of young riders are wearing helmets.
Visit any of Harvard Vanguard’s 14 pediatric office locations to buy a helmet. To find the office nearest you, go to their website at: www.harvardvanguard.org.
About Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates
Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates is a nonprofit multi-specialty medical group providing care to 495,000 adult and pediatric patients at more than 21 offices across eastern Massachusetts. As an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Harvard Vanguard physicians are on the staff of Boston’s academic medical centers and community hospitals. Harvard Vanguard’s 4,100 employees, including more than 630 physicians and 1,000 healthcare professionals, are committed to making it easier for patients to be and stay healthy. Harvard Vanguard practices are among the highest rated in the state for clinical quality and accept insurance from most major health plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Fallon Community Health Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Neighborhood Health Plan, Tufts Health Plan, and Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred. Harvard Vanguard is an affiliate of Atrius Health (http://www.atriushealth.org), an alliance of five non-profit community-based medical groups in Massachusetts.