Biking and baseball injuries - How to protect yourself and your kids

    Consumer Reports News: June 07, 2010 05:08 AM

    Bike helmets important for parents and children
    On a recent bike ride, I was traveling about 8 mph on a slight downhill, when I used my left arm to signal to the cars behind me that I was making a right-hand turn at the upcoming intersection. Unfortunately, I didn't see a pothole hidden in the shadows. A quick jerk of the handlebars to the right and I was fighting for control. I hit the grassy curb and was thrown off my bike. I was able to tuck and roll, but the impact was still significant. I landed directly on my back and right shoulder, and hit the back of my head on the ground. The helmet did its job, absorbing the energy—compressing and cracking from the impact. (See our Youth and toddler bike helmets report and Ratings.) I have no neurological problems from the accident, though my two cracked ribs, sore left wrist, aching lower back, and bruised right shoulder are (painful) reminders. Learn more in the full Safety blog post.

    A ban on metal bats?
    In March, a 16-year-old pitcher for Marin Catholic High School in California was hit by a pitch off an aluminum bat and ended up in a coma for weeks. Following the accident, the Marin County Athletic League suspended the use of metal bats. Now a bill in the California Legislature calls for a two-year ban on metal bats. Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) introduced the bill, telling the legislative committee that, "The hyper-performance of high tech metal bats has gone too far. It's increasing the risk of serious injury and yes, death, for young people and we have to do something about it." (See Youth sports injuries on the rise.) New York City and North Dakota ban aluminum bats in high school baseball; other states have considered the issue. Proponents of metal bats say they make for better hitting averages—especially for amateur players—and cost savings (they don't break like wood bats do). But Major League Baseball only uses wooden bats. Read the full Safety blog post.

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