All bicyclists must wear a helmet while riding, and it is even more important that children, who may be more vulnerable to severe or fatal brain injuries in an accident, are adequately helmeted while riding. However, statistics in Los Angeles seem to indicate a worrisome trend among parents to allow their children out riding without wearing a bicycle helmet.
According to recent research that was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition, just about 11% of children above the age of 12 in Los Angeles County who were involved in a bicycle accident that resulted in injuries, were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Some categories of children are slipping through the cracks, as far as helmet usage is concerned. In particular, California bicycle accident lawyers are worried about lower bicycle helmet usage rates among African-American and Hispanic children. Children from lower social economic groups were also found to be less likely to wear helmets while riding.
The Bike Helmet Safety Institute estimates that approximately 57% of all bicycle accident fatalities every year could be prevented if bicyclists were wearing a helmet while riding. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that bicycle accidents injure children much more seriously than adults. Children may be much more vulnerable to the kind of serious injuries that can result from a bicycle accident, like spinal cord injuries or head injuries.
The children who were included in the study had an average age of approximately 13, and 64% of the children were male. These findings seem to indicate that there is a greater need to focus on increased helmet usage among older children and adolescents as well as young male bicyclists.