-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Impact and crush tests show
that children's bicycle helmets offer effective protection in
crashes, a new study says.
The tests showed that the helmets can reduce by up to 87 percent
the acceleration experienced by the skull during an impact and can
help the skull resist forces up to 470 pounds in a crush
The goal of the study, published online Oct. 2 in the
Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, was to provide
scientific evidence for a public education campaign to promote the
use of bicycle helmets by children, explained lead author Dr.
Tobias Mattei, a neurosurgeon at the Illinois Neurological
Institute and Bradley University.
"The results we obtained in our study provide strong scientific evidence for the sometimes-neglected common-sense belief that bicycle helmets significantly increase children's safety," he said in a journal news release.
"As neurosurgeons, we are sometimes able to lessen the deleterious life-lasting effects of traumatic brain injuries that may occur in bicycle accidents. However, there is no doubt that the best strategy is still prevention, which in this case may be accomplished cheaply and simply by regular helmet use," Mattei advised.
It's estimated that 70 percent of children aged 5 to 14 ride
bicycles, but national estimates of children's use of bicycle
helmets range from only 15 to 25 percent.
Head injury is the most common cause of death and serious
disability from bicycle crashes, according to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
"Parents must be aware that it is their responsibility to provide and assure that all available safety measures are taken when allowing their children to participate in any kind of social activity or sport. Bicycling is not different! Parents should teach by example, and their children will easily learn what measures must be taken to protect themselves," Mattei said.
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute has more about
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