It is always important to learn from injury data to help reduce future trauma. However, only considering one aspect of the issue can paint an inaccurate picture.
A recent story reported a doubling of injuries in children related to bike riding during the NSW lockdown. What it failed to mention is the increase in the numbers of children riding bikes, in children spending longer on their bike, and it did not discuss whether more children were learning to ride.
Thrills and spills
We all know that learning to ride a bike will involve wobbles and can involve a few tumbles. Equally taking up more adventurous forms of bike riding, like BMX and mountain biking, can see ‘spills’ accompany ‘thrills’. Many sports in the learning phases, or as participants increase their speed or improve their technique, can involve some level of injury, but this generally does not seem to be newsworthy.
No team sports results in increased riding
The NSW lockdown meant that the winter seasons for netball, rugby, AFL, soccer, hockey, swimming, basketball and most team sports did not go ahead. Families across NSW have turned to bike riding to stay active and healthy. Increased injury rates need to be considered against a background of greater participation, and in light of the lack of access children have had to team sports.
Bike riding is becoming more popular and we know more people are buying bikes. Unlike team sports, bike riding can and does take place in the road related environment, and it is important to remind drivers to look out for children.
“It's great to see more children riding bikes for recreation and to get to school,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“As we return to school and work commutes it’s important to keep an eye out for young riders,” said Bastien.
For families looking for riding resources we have plenty to help you teach children to ride.