Report: More NM Children Wearing Helmets

New Mexico – The New Mexico Department of Health says helmet use has doubled among children riding bicycles, skateboards, scooters and skates since the state passed a child helmet safety law in 2007.

The department conducted a study in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Las Vegas and Roswell.

It found 30.6 percent of children now wear helmets, compared to 13.1 percent prior to the law.

State Health Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres says helmets can save lives and reduce the severity of injuries.

The Children's Safety Network says that on average, every $10 helmet in use saves an estimated $570 over four years by reducing emergency room visits, rehabilitation, disability services and loss of income to the family.

Torres says several programs around New Mexico offer free helmets.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.