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Journal Article


Hemmo-Lotem M, Endy-Findling L, Epel A, Klein M, Raanan R. Harefuah 2007; 146(9): 690-4, 733-4.


Beterem--The National Center for Children's Health and Safety, Israel.


(Copyright © 2007, Israel Medical Association)






BACKGROUND: Each year, many children suffer from injuries caused by bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and roller skates accidents. Head injury is the most common cause of death and serious disability in bicycle-related crashes. In various studies the use of bicycle helmets has been proven to be the most effective measure in preventing head injury: the use of bicycle helmets reduced the risk of head and brain injury by 85-88%. Legislation that mandates the use of helmets has been shown to effectively increase helmet use and, therefore, significantly decrease head injuries among riders. COST-BENEFIT: Legislation requiring helmets will save $44.2 million (direct benefit) to society over a 5-year period, and save approximately 57 lives, 2,544 hospitalizations, and 13,355 emergency room visits. BICYCLE-RELATED DEATHS AND INJURIES IN ISRAEL: Data from trauma registry of 10 hospitals of the Israeli Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine research indicate that 649 children ages 17 years and under were injured in a bicycle-related accidents (58-serious, 77-medium injury). Bicycle-related injuries accounted for approximately 33% of motor vehicle accidents among children ages 17 years and under. LEGISLATION: Many countries have legislation requiring helmets for riders. In Israel, there is no law requiring helmets. On a telephone survey, conducted by 'Beterem', a high support rate for a law requiring bicycle helmets (89%) was found among parents to children up to 15 years of age. Based on the evidence of the effectiveness of helmets as a means for reducing head injuries in cyclists, and the importance of a law to this effect, the medical community in Israel should act to promote the legislation requiring helmets for children on bicycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, and rollerblades.

Language: he


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