Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Only 11 Percent of Children Involved in Bike Accidents Wear a Helmet

By Staff Reporter / Oct 26, 2013 03:32 PM EDT
  • Only 11 Percent of Children Involved in Bike Accidents Wear a Helmet
  • (Photo : Flickr) Only 11 Percent of Children Involved in Bike Accidents Wear a Helmet

Despite a California bike helmet mandate, only 11 percent of Los Angeles County children treated for bike-related injuries were wearing a helmet, according to an abstract presented Oct. 26 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando. Specifically, children older than age 12, and low-income and minority children were less likely to wear a bike helmet.

Like Us on Facebook

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 33 million children ride bicycles for nearly 10 billion hours each year. Unfortunately, bicycle crashes and bicycle-related head injuries cause 150,000 emergency department visits and nearly 400 deaths each year.

In the abstract, "Racial/Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in the Use of Helmets in Children Involved in Bicycle Accidents," researchers reviewed the records of all pediatric patients involved in bicycle-related accidents from the Los Angeles County database between 2006 and 2011. The information included helmet use, age, gender, insurance status and race/ethnicity. Further analysis sought to determine whether helmet use was associated with the need for emergency surgery, morbidity, mortality and length of hospital stay.

There were 1,248 children involved in bicycle-related accidents in Los Angeles County. The median age of these children was 13; 64 percent were male. Overall, 11.3 percent of patients wore helmets, with some ethnic-based differences: 35.2 percent of white children wore helmets, compared to 7 percent of Asian children, 6 percent of black children, and 4 percent of Hispanic children. Researchers also observed differences based on insurance coverage, with 15.2 percent of children with private insurance coverage and 7.6 percent of children with public insurance wearing helmets at the time of injury. Children over age 12 were less likely to wear a helmet.

Overall, 5.9 percent of the injured children required emergency surgery, and 34.1 percent of the children returned to their pre-injury capacity. The mortality rate was 0.7 percent. Of the nine patients who died, eight were not wearing a helmet.

"Our study highlights the need to target minority groups, older children, and those with lower socioeconomic status when implementing bicycle safety programs in Los Angeles County," said study author Veronica F. Sullins, MD.

Regional studies highlighting racial or ethnic and socioeconomic differences may help identify at-risk populations within specific communities, allowing these communities to more effectively use resources, said Dr. Sullins.

"Children and adolescents have the highest rate of unintentional injury and therefore should be a high priority target population for injury-prevention programs," Dr. Sullins said.

Provided by American Academy of Pediatrics
Featured Video : Never Leave Your Child Alone in the Car: Parents Urged to Take Heat Stroke Seriously Before it's too late

Antibiotics in infancy may be linked to childhood obesity: study

Kids who receive several rounds of antibiotics before age two may be at an increased risk of being overweight by age five, suggests a new study.

Read More »

U.S. military to quickly ramp up Ebola mission in Liberia

A Doctors Without Borders health worker takes off his protective gear under the surveillance of a colleague at a treatment facility for Ebola victims in Monrovia September 29, 2014.

Read More »

World must do more to battle Ebola in West Africa: Obama

1 of 2. Health workers surround an Ebola patient who escaped from quarantine from Monrovia's Elwa hospital, in the centre of Paynesville in this still image taken from a September 1, 2014 video.

Read More »

Health benefits of parkrun stretch well beyond the physical

Participants take part in a parkrun event at Bushy Park in London August 2, 2014.

Read More »

Money talks: Obamacare initiative makes headway in Republican states

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration.

Read More »

Doctor calls for blood donations to treat Liberian Ebola victims

1 of 2. Health workers surround an Ebola patient who escaped from quarantine from Monrovia's Elwa hospital, in the centre of Paynesville in this still image taken from a September 1, 2014 video.

Read More »

U.S. hospitals unprepared to handle Ebola waste

1 of 3. An isolation room at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is shown in this undated file handout photo courtesy of Emory Hospital.

Read More »

Sierra Leone wraps up three-day Ebola lockdown

An empty street is seen at the start of a three-day national lockdown in Freetown September 19, 2014.

Read More »

Cerner and Athenahealth say integrating with Apple's mobile health service

The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014.

Read More »

White House calls for task force to tackle antibiotic-resistant bugs

A medical technician prepares samples in the specimen set-up area of the Vanderbilt Clinical Microbiology Lab in Nashville, Tennessee on October 19, 2012.

Read More »

U.N. to deploy Ebola mission as death toll reaches 2,630

1 of 3. Health workers remove the body of Prince Nyentee, a 29-year-old man whom local residents said died of Ebola virus in Monrovia September 11, 2014.

Read More »

IMF says Ebola hits economic growth in West Africa

A fan of Ivory coast holds a sign with a message against Ebola during the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match between Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan September 6, 2014.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics