Dr. Veronica F. Sullins presented the results of a study of children and bicycle-related injury and death at the Oct. 26, 2013, session of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.
The study was based on information collected between 2006 and 2011 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Los Angeles County database but the results are applicable to any area in the United States.
The basic idea is make your children wear a helmet if they ride a bicycle.
More boys are hurt on bicycles than girls. Children over age 12 were less likely to wear helmets.
Only 11 percent of children that rode bicycles used a helmet.
Thirty-five percent of white children wore helmets, compared to seven percent of Asian children, six percent of black children, and four percent of Hispanic children.
Twice as many children that were covered by health insurance wore helmets than children who had no health insurance.
Eighty-nine percent of children that died in bike accidents did not wear helmets.
Only one third of children that did not wear helmets and were injured in bicycle accidents returned to the same physical and mental capacity the children had before the accident.
Bicycle-related head injuries cause 150,000 emergency department visits and nearly 400 deaths each year. The majority of these injuries and deaths can be prevented by wearing a helmet or a least mitigated to the extent that an injured child can return to their former physical and mental capacity after treatment.