February 23, 2018
Millions of Americans ride bicycles, but less than half wear bicycle helmets. For example, a
national survey conducted in 2001-2003 found that only 48% of children ages 5-14 years
wore bicycle helmets when riding (1). Further, older children were less likely to wear helmets
than younger children.
In 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle- related injuries that required emergency department care. Roughly half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under the age of 20 (2). Annually, 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries to children and adolescents are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments (3).
Any bicyclist who does not wear a bicycle helmet is at increased risk of head injury.
Yes. Wearing a properly fitted helmet every time you and your children ride a bicycle is one important prevention method. If children don't want to wear a helmet, find out why. Some children don't like to wear helmets because they fear they will be teased by peers for being "geeky" or because they think helmets are unattractive, uncomfortable, or hot. Talk about these concerns with children and choose a helmet they will want to wear. Other prevention strategies:
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