Required bicycle helmet use saves kids' lives: study

Washington – Requiring bicyclists to wear helmets would reduce fatalities and serious injuries among children, according to a new study from Boston Children’s Hospital.

Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, researchers compared severe injury and death rates among bicyclists younger than 16 in states with mandatory helmet laws and states without them. From January 1999 to December 2009, the rate of fatalities and injuries after bicycle-motor vehicle collisions was 2.0 per 1 million children in states with laws, compared to 2.5 in states that did not require helmet use, the study abstract states.

Researchers said the findings support making helmet use mandatory. Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia require bicyclists to wear helmets.

The study was presented May 6 at the 2013 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.