CareNow® - July 07, 2022

When to go to urgent care for a bike injury

There’s nothing like that first time your child learns how to ride a bike without training wheels. It’s equal parts exciting and emotional as they’ve finally become independent enough to ride without you holding onto them.

But with that independence also comes added stress and anxiety for you as a parent. Although bike riding is generally a safe (and super beneficial) activity for kids, it can also come with risks. Each year, more than 250,000 children are injured as a result of a bike-related accident.

So how do you keep your child safe from injury when they’re riding a bicycle this summer? There are several things you can do to ensure their safety.

Top bicycle-riding safety tips

Before your child ever takes their first solo ride on the bike, review the rules with them so it’s very clear what you expect, even if you plan to be nearby.

Always ride on the sidewalk

Cars are one of the most dangerous obstacles for young children (and even adults) when riding a bike. Distracted driving has become a big issue these days, and many drivers don’t see a small bike in front of them, despite the fact that your child may have the right-of-way. 

Have your child ride on the sidewalk when possible; however, if they must ride on the street at any point, it’s smart to go in the same direction as traffic and stay as far on the right-hand side as possible.

Learn and use hand signals

Hand signals alert drivers if your child is planning to make a move on their bike. These signals are simple to learn and should be used any time your child is riding on the road. Remind your child that it’s dangerous to swerve between cars and that they should always ride in a straight line.

Dress appropriately

In addition to wearing comfortable clothing, your child should wear bright colors to make themselves more visible to cars. Make sure that pants cuffs aren’t too long and that they don’t get caught in the chains on your child’s bike. Sandals, specifically flip flops, can be dangerous when riding a bike as they can easily get caught up in the pedals.

Stay nearby if you can

It’s important when your child is first learning how to ride a bike that you stay nearby as much as possible. This will ensure that they are not only properly riding their bike and following bike safety rules, but that they are staying safe from strangers.

Does urgent care treat bicycle injuries?

Yes! Urgent care facilities are an excellent option for medical care if your child has sustained an injury on their bike. Whether they’ve suffered a sprain or strain or even a severe cut or scrape, urgent care clinics like CareNow® can offer quick, convenient care for your child. We provide services like X-rays and stitches so that your child can be properly cared for and back on the road in no time.

It’s also likely you will pay less at an urgent care clinic than you would at a hospital emergency room. However, always check the clinic’s website to see if they accept your insurance. CareNow® also offers competitive self-pay rates if you don’t have insurance.

Learn more about urgent care services

Do bike helmets reduce head injuries?

If your child happens to fall while riding their bike, a helmet can help protect their face, head, and brain. Children should wear a bike helmet every single time they ride a bike — even if the ride is short. Bike injuries without a helmet can be life-threatening.

It’s important that your child’s helmet fits them well, so ask a store associate for help when picking out a helmet if needed to make sure the fit is right. A right-sized helmet will cover the forehead fully and won’t tip back. If your child falls and hits their head while riding a bike, you should get a new helmet.

How to recover from bike accident injuries

If your child happens to be involved in a bike accident, the first thing you should do is make sure they’re safe. Check for injuries immediately and make sure there are no broken bones or serious sounds. Always check for the signs of a concussion, even if your child is wearing a helmet.

Once you’ve deemed your child okay, you may need to convince them to get back on the bike — especially if they’re new to riding. Remind your child that accidents happen and that riding a bike is a perfectly safe activity.

Keep an eye on your child for the next few hours after the accident. If your child hit their head, it’s important to keep them awake after a fall.

Can you ride a bike with an MCL injury?

If your child has experienced a knee injury to a ligament such as the medial collateral ligament, or MCL, you may be wondering if it’s safe for them to get back on the bike. What’s most important is that you talk to your child’s provider about the injury and the possibility of your child riding again. A provider will be able to assess the severity of the injury and give you an educated recommendation on what’s best for your child.

Should your child suffer a bike accident, you’ll need to assess whether or not medical care is needed. If the injury seems to have resulted in a concussion, sprain or strain, or even a severe cut or scrape, it’s recommended that the injury be evaluated. For more serious bike fall injuries, call 911 immediately.

At CareNow®, we offer the services you need to keep your child healthy. Plus, each of our more than 175 locations throughout the country is open after hours and on the weekends so that you can get the care that you need when it’s convenient for you.

We’ve also earned the distinction of Accredited Urgent Care Center from our industry’s association, Urgent Care Association (UCA). This distinction recognizes urgent care performance in patient care through safety, quality, and scope of services.

Before you visit the CareNow® location near you, be sure to take advantage of our Web Check-In® feature which allows you to check in online and wait from the comfort of your home until we’re ready for your visit.

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