ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. -
A Robertson County mother and father were inspired to invent a protective device for children’s bicycles after a minor bike accident led to a frightening medical emergency.
Luke Meyers wiped out on his bike in August 2011 when he was just four years old.
Luke wasn’t traveling very fast and the accident seemed minor enough, but as time went by his parents, Dave and Judith, noticed he was in pain and was having trouble breathing.
It was later discovered that Luke had torn a hole in his small intestines and toxic fluid was leaking into his abdomen.
His parents took him to Monroe Carroll Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt where he underwent emergency surgery to repair the damage.
“They repaired the damage and irrigated him out,” Dave Meyers recalled, adding, “We had to spend about a week in the hospital to make sure an infection didn't set in and for his bowels to start working again.”
When Luke fell off his bike the handlebar hit him in the abdomen, causing the intestinal tear.
The plastic grips had worn off the handlebar, leaving exposed metal underneath.
“We were thinking about how did this happen,” Meyers said. “We were looking at all of our four kids’ bikes and from dropping their bikes all the handlebar grips are gone.”
He continued, “We thought, ‘Man, we can make a cap that slides in this thing that can spread out the force of the impact when a child falls on it.’”
Meyers designed the plastic piece to fit inside the handlebar. It provides a rounded end to help prevent traumatic injuries if the end of the handlebar is hit by a child during a fall.
The Handlebar Helmet is made of durable plastic and fits into the exposed metal piping found underneath the rubber grips of a handlebar.
The Meyers started selling the handlebar helmets online in March for $19.95.
“We want them on every kids bicycle,” he said. “Senseless injuries like this don’t need to happen.”
Handlebar Helmets come in a variety of colors. Each one of the Meyers’ children have them installed on their bikes.
Luke, now seven, has made a full recovery from his injury. He does not remember being in the hospital, but he has a scar from surgery he enjoys showing off.
To purchase a Handlebar Helmet or read more, visit HandlebarHelmet.com.