Frequently asked Questions
For Policy Makers
Macpherson AK, To TM, Macarthur C, Chipman ML, Wright JG, Parkin PC. Pediatrics 2002;110(5):e60
|see also: Errors and omissions in Canadian research group's bicycle helmet papers|
The study compared rates of head injury to children (5 - 19 years) in regions throughout Canada with and without mandatory cycle helmet legislation. The sample size was 9,650, of whom 3,426 sustained injuries to the head and face and the remaining 6,224 had other injuries. The bicycle-related head injury rate declined by 45% in provinces where legislation had been adopted compared with 27% in other provinces and territories. The authors thus claim a strong protection association between helmet legislation and head injuries.
An e-letter pointing out shortcomings in the paper was subsequently published by Pediatrics (Robinson, 2003b).
Read the full published critique here.
In 2006, the same authors reviewed the law in Ontario and showed that helmet wearing had returned to pre-law (or below pre-law) levels by 2001 (Macpherson et al, 2006). Data from another source showed that, despite the reduction in helmet wearing, head injuries were still declining at a faster rate than non-head injuries (CIHI, 2003b). This suggests that the claims made in the present paper that the different trends in head injury rates of legislation and non-legislation provinces were due to increased helmet wearing are incorrect.
Head injuries up after Alberta law?. .
Bicycle-Related Injuries Among Ontario Children Declining. Canadian Institute for Health Information, March 19 2003..
Macpherson AK, Macarthur C, To TM, Chipman ML, Wright JG, Parkin PC, 2006. Economic disparity in bicycle helmet use by children six years after the introduction of legislation. Injury Prevention 2006;12:231-235.
Robinson DL, 2003. Confusing trends with the effect of helmet laws. Pediatrics P3R 7 Jul 2003.