“Bikes” by Britta Frahm is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Over 2 Millions Pediatric ER Visits For Bike Accidents Annually

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Bikes” by Britta Frahm is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Lara McKenzie, PhD
Principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Polic
Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Bicycling is a great way for families to get outside and be active together, but certain precautions need to be taken to keep everyone safer. This study looked at bicycle-related injuries among children age 5-17 years treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States from 2006 through 2015 and found that, despite a decrease in the rate of injuries over the 10-year study period, there were still more than 2.2 million injuries. This averages 608 cases per day or 25 every hour.

The majority of injuries involved children 10 to 14 years of age (46%) and boys (72%). The most commonly injured body region was the upper extremities (36%), followed by the lower extremities (25%), face (15%), and head and neck (15%). The most common types of injury were bruises and scrapes (29%) and cuts (23%). Overall, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) represented 11% of total injuries and were most common among patients 10-14 years of age (44%). About 4% of patients were hospitalized.

Injuries most frequently occurred in the street (48%) or at home (37%). Helmet use at the time of injury was associated with a lower likelihood of head and neck injuries and hospitalizations, but there was no significant change in the rate of injury among helmet users over the study period. Motor vehicle involvement increased the odds of bicycle-related TBIs and injury-related hospitalizations. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Wearing a helmet while riding a bike is the best way to decrease the risk of serious injuries. We want parents and kids to keep riding their bikes, but it’s important for all riders to wear a helmet. Take your children shopping for bike helmets so you can find ones that fit them and they can choose a style they like. They will be more likely to want to wear it. Take a few minutes to ensure everyone’s helmet fits properly, and make sure everyone wears their bike helmet on every bike ride.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Researchers should continue to monitor emergency room visits for bicycle-related injuries. Evaluation of prevention strategies to reduce bicycle-related injuries is an area of future research.

I have no financial relationships or potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose.


Bicycle-related injuries among children treated in US emergency departments, 2006-2015
Rebecca J.McAdams, KatherineSwidarski, Roxanne M.Clark,
Kristin J.Roberts, JingzhenYang, Lara B.Mckenzie,
Accident Analysis & Prevention
Volume 118, September 2018, Pages 11-17


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Last Updated on June 27, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD