Helmet Laws Can Reduce Death

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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.

The Smith Optics Forefront Helmet is a great choice for mountain biking. Photo by Lisa Hazel.                                                  

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.

See https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/150/3/e2022058878/188764/Helmet-Use-in-Preventing-Head-Injuries-in

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “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,……”

    Neither of those statements is true. Helmets do not reduce the death rate of cyclists, and children have been strangled by their helmet straps. Cycling does not cause more head injuries than other play activities, not sport, the children are doing sport, they’re playing.

    Disappointing to see a medical body repeating these myths when they should be truthful.

  2. An August 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics ([email protected]) article indicated that bicycle riding is a leading cause of sport-related head injuries in pediatrics. And that only 42% of children always wore helmets and 31% never wore helmets (2012 data). The article in addition noted that snow sports are also a leading cause of sport-related head injury and traumatic brain injury rises if the person is not wearing a helmet. The review by the AAP of all bicycling, snow sports, and other recreational activities and sports indicate that helmets save lives and significantly reduce the risks of severe head injuries. Wearing helmets while cycling seems prudent to me.

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