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Guidelines could reduce children's head injuries from cycling

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 25 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1240

Efficacy of cycle helmets

One of the best literature reviews I have read outlining the
characteristics of bicycle injuries, the biomechanics of head injury and
the effectiveness of bicycle helmets is a report prepared by Dr Michael
Henderson for the Motor Accidents Authority of New South Wales, Australia.
The report is available on the WWW. The full reference is:

Henderson M. The Effectiveness of Bicycle Helmets: A Review: Prepared
for Motor Accidents Authority of New South Wales, Australia; 1995. Report
No.: MAARE-010995.ISBN 0 T310 6435 6

The responses to the guidelines has been interesting, and seems to me
to be very similar to the earlier debate over the banning of the word
'accident' from use in the BMJ.

The reaction against bicycle helmets, puzzles me in that a move
against bicycle helmet use is also strong within certain sectors of the
cycle advocates network in NZ and seems to be based more upon the
rejection of regulation and support for libertarian values rather than
knowledge of the burden of injury and the effectiveness of protective

It is not for nothing that protective helmets are required to be worn
by motorcycle riders, construction workers, equestrian riders etc.

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 June 2002
John Wren
Senior Analyst,
Safekids, Auckland, New Zealand