Urban/rural variation in children's bicycle-related injuries

Accid Anal Prev. 2004 Jul;36(4):649-54. doi: 10.1016/S0001-4575(03)00086-1.


The objective of this study was to examine bicycle-related injury rates for children living in urban and rural areas. Data on all Canadian children hospitalised because of bicycling-related injuries (1994-1998) were obtained from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Injured children were classified as residing in urban, mixed urban, mixed rural or rural areas. Incidence rates for bicycle-related head injuries and other bicycle-related injuries were calculated. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of head injury, controlling for age, sex, socio-economic status (SES), collision with a motor vehicle, and the presence of provincial helmet legislation. In total, 9367 children were hospitalised for a bicycling-related injury over the 4-year-study period. Of these, 21% occurred in rural areas, 18% in mixed rural, 17% in mixed urban, while the remaining 44% occurred in urban areas. The average annual incidence rate for bicycle-related head injuries in children was 18.49 per 100000 for children living in rural areas compared with 10.93 per 100000 for those living in urban areas, 15.49 for children in mixed urban areas and 17.38 for children living in mixed rural areas. This variation may be explained by differences in bicycling exposure, helmet use, hospital admission criteria, or road environments across geographic areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / prevention & control
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Urban Population
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control