By Charles Pekow — Helmet laws can reduce death and injury in youth, says a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Bicycling causes more head injuries in children than any other sport, but most riders don’t wear helmets consistently despite their proven ability to reduce trauma, AAP’s research found.
Helmet Use in Preventing Head Injuries in Bicycling, Snow Sports, and Other Recreational Activities and Sports says “a multipronged approach is needed to advance helmet use,” including legislation, enforcement of laws, and guidance from the medical community and schools. Safe Routes to School programs can include helmet promotion.
The study notes that 21 states and the District of Columbia employ mandatory helmet laws of for youth, though requirements vary by age. When the laws are properly enforced, they increase helmet use, but no Mountain West states require such use.
AAP based its conclusions on a review of existing research and found that programs offered by medical offices and schools also increase helmet use and safety.