Bike crashes account for more than 350,000 emergency room visits each year

May is National Bike Month, and it's a good opportunity to talk with your children about bike safety. Bike crashes account for more than 350,000 emergency room visits each year.

The most effective way to reduce head injuries or deaths related to bicycle crashes is to wear a helmet, according to Nationwide Children's Hospital. The city of Columbus passed an ordinance requiring that children wear helmets whenever they are biking, but there are other measures parents can take to make kids more eager to wear them, according to the hospital. These include:

Choose a helmet that your child likes. Make sure the helmet fits properly and is comfortable. Praise your child for wearing his or her helmet. Set a good example by wearing a helmet, too.

It's also a good idea to make sure your child's bike is in good working order, according to the Safe Kids Central Ohio. The agency suggests performing a safety check of the following items before letting your child ride:

Make sure the bicycle fits the child's height, weight and age. Check that the gears shift smoothly and that the brakes work properly. Be sure that the tires are secure and properly inflated.

For more information, visit http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/bicycle-safety and http://safekidscentralohio.org/site/safety-tips/bicycle-safety-facts/.