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Don't scrimp on safety this summer

July 06, 2009|Francesca Lunzer Kritz

Don't let savings this summer come at the expense of safety.

"Summer is a great time for physical activity, exploring and family trips, but precautions and safety equipment such as sunscreen and bicycle helmets are musts," says Dr. Lynne McCullough, head of the emergency department at UCLA Medical Center.

We've put together a list of free or low-cost safety savings.

Bicycle helmets: Helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, an advocacy group based in Arlington, Va. But don't pick up a used one just to save money; previous crashes might have affected the protective foam.

On the high end, a new helmet can get pricey, but one can also be had for as little as $20. A few insurance companies have offered helmet discounts or cash back for using helmets, so call the membership number on the back of your insurance card to find out if that's the case for you.

Also, communities sometimes have helmet giveaways or sales. Check for programs at Safe Kids USA, part of a global network of nonprofit groups. From the website's home page, click on "safe kids near you."

For more money-saving safety tips, see Page E6.

health@latimes.com

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