For too long, global road safety has not received the priority it deserves, especially when it comes to the needs of children. Not only are children at high risk in vehicles, on bicycles, and in some countries on motorcycles, they are vulnerable as pedestrians and are often injured or killed in the simple act of walking to school.
Every day around the world, more than 500 children lose their lives in traffic crashes. Tens of thousands are injured, sometimes suffering lifelong disabilities. Not only are children at high risk in vehicles, on bicycles, and on motorcycles, they are vulnerable as pedestrians and are often injured or killed in the simple act of walking to school.
A growing epidemic of traffic injuries is devastating the next generation of children around the globe. More than 500 children are killed every day as a result of road traffic collisions, and tens of thousands are injured, often suffering lifelong disabilities. Children living in poorer nations are most at risk. In fact, more than 90 percent of child road deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
As the weather gets chilly and holiday anticipation begins to grow, it’s time to start making lists – lists for Thanksgiving dinner, lists for Santa, lists for winter-weather preparation, and, of course, lists for holiday shopping.
Before you join the crowd on Black Friday to kick-start your holiday shopping, here are a few important things to add to your list.
Chris Clark is one of the top professional stunt cyclists in the country. I recently watched him perform on consecutive weekends at Safe Kids Day events in Los Angeles and New York. Kids of all ages marveled as he fearlessly jumped over ramps, hopped from obstacle to obstacle on just his back tire and performed stunts that took our breath away.
There is nothing that I can remember loving more as a kid than riding my bike with all of my friends. Every ride was an adventure and we would stay out as long as we could.
Now as an adult, I still hop on a bike every opportunity I get – and it’s especially fun to ride with my nephews, Jake, 4, and Nathan, 7, who are actually starting to keep up with me, which is saying something.
There are so many good things that come from riding a bike – good exercise, a sense of freedom, it’s good for the environment – so we want to encourage all kids to strap helmets on their heads and pedal off to the park, to a friend’s house or to school.
I still remember getting my first bike. It was a lovely fall day, and I was celebrating my 5th birthday at the local park when my parents wheeled it over. And it was beautiful – a light pink frame and white tires with a white basket on the front adorned with purple, blue and yellow daisies, and shimmering multicolored streamers flowing from the handlebars.
Have you ever seen a bike train? Picture lots of excited little kids perched on bicycles, scooters, skateboards and anything else with wheels, anxiously awaiting a signal from a parent or teacher to start pedaling and rolling to school.