Helmet Safety

New study shows nearly half of bike-related hospitalizations diagnosed as traumatic brain injury

New research unveiled by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign shows that nearly half (47 percent) of children hospitalized for bike-related injuries suffer from a traumatic brain injury.

The National SAFE KIDS Campaign and Founding Sponsor Johnson & Johnson are teaming up to send a simple message to parents and kids when on any kind of wheels - Use Your Head. Wear a Helmet!

"Brain injury is the leading killer and disabler of children," says Dr. C. Everett Koop, Sc.D., former U.S. Surgeon General and chairman of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. "Damage to the brain from an external blow can affect one's ability to walk, talk and think. The consequences can be devastating and permanent and change a child's life - suddenly and forever."

While more than three-quarters of tweens surveyed said that a brain injury could occur as a result of a wheel-related crash and 65 percent of kids knew that the effects of a brain injury could last a lifetime, less than half said they wear a helmet on every bike ride. Less than a third wore a helmet while riding scooters, skateboards or inline skates. Only 9 percent said that it is likely they will suffer a brain injury while riding.

The results released today coincide with the kickoff of National SAFE KIDS Week which runs May 4 - 11, 2002. The campaign is a nationwide initiative that includes a donation of up to $1,000,000 worth of Bell helmets to kids in need across the nation by Johnson & Johnson and Bell Sports. These helmets will be distributed at SAFE KIDS coalitions and chapter events throughout the year.

In a major new study on traumatic brain injury and wheel-related sports, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign found that nearly 51 percent of children ages 10 to 14 who suffered a serious bike injury were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, compared to 44 percent of children ages 5 to 9 and 38 percent of children ages 4 and under.

"Brain injuries are more common among older children because these kids are less likely to wear their helmets and take more chances." adds Dr. Koop. "SAFE KIDS urges parents and kids to wear a helmet on any wheel-related activity. It can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent."

Nearly 28 million children ride bicycles and the popularity of scooters, skateboards and inline skates has been skyrocketing. SAFE KIDS examined data from the National Pediatric Trauma Registry (from 1994 to 2001) to look closely at the number of children who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. In addition, SAFE KIDS commissioned a national survey with tweens to look at their attitudes and behaviors toward helmet use during all wheel-related activity.

The findings are documented in a report titled: A National Study of Traumatic Brain Injury and Wheel-Related Sports.

Author Notes:

Dustin Armstrong contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.all-motorcycle-helmets.com.  A buyers guide to all types of motorcycle helmets plus shields, googles, custom and wired radio helmets.

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