When Christmas arrived, so did a lot of new bicycles, skateboards and
inline skates under the tree.
At Burbank Bike Shop on Victory Boulevard, employee Nick Hammett
said holiday sales were brisk, adding that most who bought bikes for
their children were also aware of the need for a helmet.
“A lot of people know that they should buy a safety helmet, but
some people didn’t think about it until we told them,” Hammett said.
Physicians at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center’s emergency
room treat dozens of people every year who have taken spills on their
bikes, skateboards or inline skates, said Philip Schwarzman, the
hospital’s emergency room medical director. Their injuries are
usually less severe if they are wearing the necessary safety gear,
“Probably the most important thing is that adults, as well as
children, should wear protective head gear,” Schwarzman said. “People
don’t know it, but bicycling generates the most accidents.”
For inline skating, Schwarzman recommends that people wear knee
pads, elbow pads and wrist guards to prevent injury to limbs. A
Burbank law stipulates that anyone age 16 and younger riding a
bicycle must wear a helmet, said Burbank Police Sgt. Brian Matthews,
a member of the department’s juvenile detail.
The same law doesn’t include skateboards, unless they are
motorized, Matthews added.
“But common sense goes a great deal farther -- as far as gloves,
elbow and knee pads, and eye protection,” he said.
While some people complain that safety equipment is expensive,
Matthews responds with an adage his father passed on to him.
“Safety equipment is cheap. How much is your life worth?”