Circus safety clinics head off injuries

Bicycle and skating injuries send more than 400,000 children annually to hospital emergency rooms, and result in approximately 300 fatalities; according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Despite this, only about 15 percent of all children wear a helmet for biking, skating or skateboarding, even though helmets can reduce the risk of head or brain injury by 85 percent.

The importance of wearing helmets and other safety gear is emphasized in a series of sports safety clinics produced by the CPSC and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.

The first clinic, featuring circus performers wearing and demonstrating safety gear, was in Washington, D.C.

"CPSC and Ringling Bros. decided together that the best way to get children to wear safety gear was to actually show children that some of the greatest performers in the world wear safety gear," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "We think if the pros set the example, the kids will follow."

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