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CPS advocates bike helmets for all cyclists

Posted on April 14, 2014 by the Canadian Paediatric Society | Permalink

Topic(s): AdvocacyPosition statements / practice pointsPublic education

Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injuries and should be legislated for all ages across Canada, said the Canadian Paediatric Society in a recent position statement. However, only 4 of 13 Canadian provinces and territories meet the CPS recommendations: British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

“Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head and brain injuries significantly, and studies show that legislation increases the use of helmets,” said Dr. Brent Hagel, statement co-author and member of the Injury Prevention Committee.

Cycling is the leading cause of sport and recreational injury in children and adolescents, accounting for four per cent of all injuries seen in the emergency department and seven per cent of all hospital admissions for unintentional injury. Head injuries are among the most severe injuries, often with devastating consequences.

“Everyone is at risk for head injury, regardless of age group,” said Dr. Hagel, an injury prevention epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Calgary. “Children see adults and often adopt similar behaviours, so if we can get helmets on adults then children and adolescents will be more likely to wear them too.”

In addition to helmet legislation, the CPS is calling for public education programs and bicycle-friendly city planning. Paediatricians should inform patients of the importance of bicycle helmets and advocate for their use.

For more information about the importance of bike helmets that you can print and share with families, visit



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Last updated: Apr 10, 2014