Bicycle-related injuries to children and parental attitudes regarding bicycle safety

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2004 Apr;43(3):251-9. doi: 10.1177/000992280404300306.


This study was designed to evaluate bicycle-related injuries among children requiring emergency treatment, assess the use of safety measures before and after injuries, and determine parental attitudes regarding bicycle safety. Six hundred fifty-eight children were treated for bicycle-related injuries during the study period. Follow-up contact with patients' families was made by telephone or mail within 2 months. Use of safety equipment other than brakes and reflectors occurred in less than 7% of cases. Less than 25% of children used hand signals. Sixty-eight percent of children reportedly owned a bicycle helmet before the injury, but only 26.1% "always" and 29.7% "never" wore a helmet. Given the high parental understanding of the importance of bicycle helmet use, more education and warnings alone are unlikely to increase helmet usage. Parents support a mandatory helmet use law, and therefore, local and state bicycle helmet ordinances and laws should be combined with education.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology
  • Attitude
  • Bicycling / injuries*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Psychology, Child
  • Safety*