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Riley Hospital sponsors bike rodeo'

By Staff
special to The Star
Oct. 15, 2002
Each year, more children go to hospital emergency rooms with injuries related to biking than any other sport especially head injuries from their failure to wear a safety helmet.
Because October is Brain Injury Awareness Month, Riley Hospital's emergency department will sponsor a "bike rodeo" Saturday in the hospital's north parking lot at 12th Street and 20th Avenue.
Bike registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the rodeo starts at 10 a.m. The bike rodeo is open to children 5-14; there is no cost to participate.
The first 50 children who register will receive a free bike helmet. The names of everyone who completes the driving course will be placed in a drawing for a free 20-inch Murray bicycle.
At the rodeo, youngsters will complete several obstacle courses set up in the parking lot to test their skills at balancing, maneuvering, steering, braking and signaling.
Children are asked to bring their own bikes to the rodeo, where they will be inspected for safety before used on the driving course.
For example, tires will be inspected to ensure they are inflated properly and brakes will be checked. The handlebars and seat also will be inspected to make sure they are not loose.
Participants will be issued a "license" for completing the course.
Paul Earley, a deputy sheriff with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department and a former member of the Meridian Police Department cycling patrol, will teach kids bike safety and help conduct the rodeo.
By wearing a bicycle safety helmet every time they ride, children can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics' The Injury Prevention Program, or TIPP.
Biking tips:
Here are bicycle safety tips for youngsters offered by The Injury Prevention Program of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Helmet: Always wear a bike helmet. The helmet should fit snugly. The front should be about 1 inch above the eyebrows and chin strap buckled snugly.
Equipment: Inflate tires properly and check brakes before riding.
Clothing: Always wear neon, fluorescent or other bright colors when riding during the day. Avoid riding at night because it is far more dangerous.
Books: Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
Traffic: Avoid riding in traffic. If you must, ride single file in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow of traffic, not against it.
Signs: Obey traffic signs, signals and lane markings. Signal your moves to others.
Safety: Before entering any street or intersection, check for traffic by looking left, right and then left again.
For more information on Riley Hospital's "bike rodeo," call the marketing department at 484-3586.