Study: Summer bicycling leaves many children injured

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NEW YORK (CBS) Callie Morales, 11, is learning the basics of riding a bike on this field trip.

"If you don't do these things and you own a bike, you can get hurt," she said.

She and her classmates are taking a safety and cycling course offered by Bike New York.

"We offer free classes and programs for adults and kids all over New York City to teach them bike skills, bike safety knowledge and rules of the road," said Richard Conroy, the director of education at Bike New York.

A new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital shows 25 children are treated in emergency rooms every hour for bike-related injuries.

"The most common types of injuries were to the upper extremities," said Lara McKenzie of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "We saw things like cuts, bruises, fractures, scrapes, and then also traumatic brain injuries."

The study looked at children 5-17 over a 10-year period. McKenzie says brain injuries account for 11 percent of all injuries.

"The 10- to 14-year-olds tend not to wear the helmets as much but that's the group that was injured the most, so we really need to encourage that age group," she said.

Fewer than half of U.S. states have bike helmet laws, even though studies show wearing a helmet reduces injuries and keeps kids safer.

Asked about the right way to wear a bike helmet, Callie Morales said, "Well, first are the straps. You need to be able to tighten the straps and it has to be two fingers wide."

Researchers say kids are also more likely to put on a helmet if they see their parents wearing them, so it's critical to set a good example.

The study also shows boys are more likely to get injured than girls.