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Bike Safety for Kids with ADHD

Bike Safety for Kids with ADHD

Once hedge-funder Martin Shkreli got his hands on the rights to the life-saving, toxoplasmosis medication, Daraprim, he raised its price from $13.50 per pill to $750. Risky business. That move launched a cry for legislative control of runaway drug prices (it’s about time). And the FBI has now arrested him for unrelated securities fraud.

But while Shkreli’s risky business moves made headlines, there’s some other pretty risky business going on right in your neighborhood that’s not getting much attention: kids with ADHD riding bicycles. They’re twice as likely to get into a bicycle accident as kids their age without the condition -- especially when crossing the street. That’s because attention problems can cause timing issues and impulse control problems or hyperactivity make it hard to decide if there’s room enough between cars to cross safely. 

The solution is NOT to keep the six million kids in North American with ADHD off bikes. Last year a special TV report highlighted the amazing results of a high school gym class that made outdoor cycling a main activity: Kids with ADHD became much more self-confident, focused and calmer in class.

So if your child has ADHD, make sure he or she is taking the proper medication (it can reduce accidents by 31-43 percent), wears a helmet, high-viz clothing, and takes a course to improve his biking confidence. Then stick to routes that allow crossing with a light, walk sign or crossing guard when possible. If it’s not, make sure there’s an adult along for the ride.

Medically reviewed in June 2019.

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