Bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except the automobile.
More than 70 percent of children ages 5 to 14 ride bicycles, and this group is five times more likely to be injured in a bicycle-related crash than older riders.
Head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes and is the most important factor in bicycle-related death and permanent disability. Head injuries account for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths, more than two-thirds of bicycle-related hospital admissions and about one-third of hospital emergency room visits for bicycling injuries.
The single-most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes is a helmet. Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent, and it is estimated that they could prevent 75 percent of bicycle-related fatalities among children.
Unfortunately, fewer than half of kids ages 5 to 14 wear helmets when participating in wheeled activities, and more than a third of children who use helmets wear them improperly.
The National Safe Kids campaign offers the following safety tips: