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Doctors prepare for bicyclists with head injuries

9:30 PM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
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  • 60 seniors at Kenowa High School were suspended for riding bikes to school
    

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- With warmer weather finally arriving, many people will begin riding their bicycles, but will they be wearing their helmets?

WZZM 13 Photojournalist Chad Colton is glad he wore his Friday morning when he flipped over his handlebars. "It's a part of the course I go over all the time. It's just this particular time, I came into it a little awkwardly and paid the price."

Cuts, scrapes and bruises cover his face and neck, but no injuries above his cheekbone. "I'm very glad I wore a helmet. I'm kind of nuts about bike safety. I never get on my bike without a helmet," said Colton.

We showed a picture of Chad's injuries to Dr. Stephen Bloom, Director of Mary Free Bed's Brain Injury and Trauma Program. "There's no question; even though this gentleman had a pretty significant blow to the head and the face, this helmet probably did diminish the risk of a concussion or brain injury."

Dr. Bloom says wearing a helmet drops the risk of death by 90%. "We regularly see bike accidents every week in our concussion clinic...as we come to the spring season, particularly on a nice weather weekend like we're going to have this weekend, we expect to see those injuries to increase."

Bloom urges cyclists of every age to put on a helmet with a personalized message for our co-worker: "Chad, it's a good thing you were wearing your helmet. It probably protected your brain. I can't give you any recommendation on any of the facial scarring you are going to have, but I hope you weren't going to be a model."

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