Toddler Found Unresponsive After Her Bike Helmet Gets Caught in Day Care's Monkey Bars

New Horizon Academy

Now that summer is here, your kids are sure to want to spend more time outside. A recent news story, however, should stand as a warning to all parents planning to let their kids hit the playground all summer long. A toddler from Minneapolis, Minnesota, was rushed to the hospital after her bike helmet strap got stuck in a playground ladder. The tangle caused the girl to be strangled, and experts are warning that an incident like this is more common than one might think.

  • The incident happened Thursday at a playground at New Horizon Academy in Bloomington.

    It was meant to a morning enjoying the playground, but by 10:30 a.m., a 911 call had been made in response to a girl, 2-1/2, who was seriously injured while on the playground equipment, WCCO reported.

    The girl, who has yet to be named, had wanted to get up to the monkey bars, but as she climbed up the ladder to reach the playground fixture, the strap of the bike helmet she was wearing got tangled in the ladder.

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  • When first responders arrived, the girl was unresponsive and had no pulse.

    She was rushed to the hospital, where it was last reported she is in stable condition.

    For many parents the idea that a bike helmet could be the cause of a serious injury might come as a shock. Although helmets prevent thousands of child deaths on bicycles every year, the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation notes that bike helmets can sometimes be a risk if they aren't worn at the proper times. 

    The organization quoted a study conducted by the Medical Journal of Australia, which wrote that "Accidental hanging is still occurring among young children who wear bicycle helmets while engaging in activities other than bicycle riding. … Although such deaths are rare, it is important for parents and child carers to ensure that bicycle helmets are only worn by children for their intended purpose."

    The organization did note that the risk of strangulation death from a bike helmet is small.

  • New Horizon Academy has since released a press statement about the frightening incident.

    The early childhood education center explained the incident in a statement to WCCO:

    "This morning, a child suffered an accident on our playground which required the support of emergency medical personnel. Our staff responded swiftly to the child’s injuries, first responders were quickly on site, and the child was transported to a nearby hospital for further medical care. At this time we do not have additional information to share. At New Horizon Academy, the safety of our children is our first priority."
    It all goes to prove that parents should make sure their kids remove their bike helmets before hitting the jungle gym.

health & safety