MUSCAT, JUNE 30 – It’s summer and schools are closed for vacation. It’s the time when parents look for options to engage their children in healthy activities. For many children in Oman, especially in the rural areas, cycling is one of the activities the teens find entertainment with. But the fact is that these children do not use helmets despite warnings from the authorities and experts. “Cyclists disregarding their age must use helmets. Parents should make sure their children wear helmets while riding bicycles to avoid being hurt in case of an accident”, stresses the Royal Oman Police (ROP).
Echoing the advice, Dr Lamya al Waeli, a physician, said that wearing a helmet will help protect the face, head and brain in the event of falling from the bicycle. “That’s why it’s so important to wear helmets. Several times we receive children in our hospital with light to serious injuries in the head”, Dr Lamya said. According to the doctor, the cases increase during the school holidays when many children ride bicycles for fun. Along with ROP, we stress on the use of helmets especially for children, she added.
“Authorities need to take steps to create awareness about the importance of using helmets. Parents should be told to advise their children. ROP has already started this campaign and I will make sure that children will follow the instructions”, she said. At the same time a parent said that it is not common in Oman to wear helmet while cycling.
Basma, a mother of three children, said that other countries have made it a law to wear helmet while cycling. “We travel a lot and I see children wearing helmets. I wish that we put in force the same safety rules for the protection of our children as well. I will start with my children so that other kids will also follow suit. They will have a long way to go but I am sure that the authorities will initiate more steps in this regard”, she said. While another mother said that her children initially objected to wear helmet but she made it a rule “no helmet, no cycling, and stick to it. “sometimes you need to be tough for their safety but we can all make the change happen”, she commented.