In Canada, approximately 100 children a year suffer head injuries and die after falling off their bicycles. In the United States the number might approach 1,000 children. Thousands more are permanently injured.


In the United States, the Center For Disease Control estimates that if all cyclists wore helmets, perhaps 500 deaths and 135,000 head injuries could be prevented each year.


Less than 20% of reported cycling injuries involve collisions with motor vehicles. Most injuries occur in falls when riders lose control.


Cyclists who wear approved helmets are eight times less likely to have serious brain injuries than riders who don’t. Wearing proper helmets significantly reduces the chance of head injuries when engaged in other activities such as operating ATVs, driving or riding on motorcycles, playing hockey etc.


Reduce the danger of a head injury by buying and wearing an approved helmet that is designed for the activity you’ll be engaged in. There is no all-purpose helmet. A bicycle helmet doesn’t offer enough protection for snowmobiling or riding a motorcycle. In the United States, make sure a helmet has a Snell seal or ANSI label; in Canada, a CSA label. Set a good example for your children and wear your helmet.


To fully benefit from a helmet’s protection, it must fit properly. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to acquire the proper fit.



A sixty-year-old man who had just started his retirement, fell off his bicycle when a dog ran in front of him. He hit his head on the concrete and died as a result of the injury. A helmet in this situation would likely have saved his life.




Copyright 1997 Safety Health Publishing Inc.


Martin Lesperance is a fire fighter/paramedic and is the author of the best selling book “I Won’t be in to Work Today – Preventing Injuries at Home, Work and Play”. Martin delivers keynote presentations dealing with injury prevention. His talks are funny, but still have a strong underlying message. Visit his website at www.safete.com