Revisiting Bicycle Helmets: Injury Prevention for Kids and More

A year ago I wrote the blog post below, which I am re-posting today.  I wrote the post to coincide with the publication in the November 2013 CJSM of the Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) position statement on mandated bicycle helmet use in Canada.

I was reminded of the statement–and the blog post–today as I came across an article posted on the Facebook page of CASEM related to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looking at the the causes of head injuries in children.  For those under high school age, falls–including those from bicycles–are an exceedingly common cause of head injury.  One striking statistic from the study, quoted in the article:  for children presenting to the ED with a head injury resulting from a bicycle accident, only 18% were wearing a helmet.

The post I wrote last year generated more responses I think than any other post I have written on this blog, and it warranted several follow up posts .  I was struck by the passion–and quite often, vitriol–of many people writing in.  It wasn’t my first introduction to troll-like behavior on social media, but it was possibly the loudest and most ‘international’ I have experienced to date.

I hope you have a chance to look at the articles contained in the links on this post and the ‘reblog’ below.  I think the approach to injury prevention, specifically relating to bikes and most specifically relating to ‘kids on bikes,’ should be multifactorial:  yes to improved road safety, yes to a different relationship between cars and bikes, yes to a built environment that is more accommodating to bikes and pedestrians–but yes as well to personal protective equipment, like helmets.

As ever, we are interested in your thoughts.  But I say with the utmost politeness:  please note that any post that I find does not contribute to a civilized discussion will not be posted on the discussion board.

All the best.

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog

The November issue of CJSM has been out for a week, and I hope you’ve had a chance to look at our latest offering.  It is also our last offering for 2013 (CJSM is a bimonthly, publishing 6 times a year).  The next time the journal will hit your mailboxes and inboxes will be January 2014.

FIMS 2014 Quebec City, site of the XXXIII FIMS
World Congress of Sports Medicine
CJSM will be there: will you?

2014 promises to be a big year in sports and sports medicine.  The Winter Olympics take place in Sochi, Russia; the FIFA World Cup is in Brazil; and the Commonwealth Games are in Glasgow, Scotland.   On the sports medicine front, the Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) hosts the FIMS 2014 World Congress of Sports Medicine in Quebec City, and earlier in the spring the AMSSM annual meeting takes place in…

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About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Deputy Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

One Response to Revisiting Bicycle Helmets: Injury Prevention for Kids and More

  1. I think bicycle helmets should be compulsory. It can definitely help save lives in many incidents. Always try to encourage everyone you know who bikes to wear helmets.

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