Rise in head injuries leads to call for children to wear helmets when cycling

Parents in East Renfrewshire and Glasgow are being asked to ensure children wear a helmet when riding their bikes.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 12:38 pm
Helmets can reduce the severity of a head injury in the event of an accident.

Since the pandemic, more and more people are using bikes for their daily exercise, including many children.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in a rise in the number of children attending emergency departments with head injuries, particularly at the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC).

In 2019, there were only 13 children admitted with moderate trauma related to bike accidents.

During the three months of lockdown, the RHC have already had 18 children being admitted with moderate trauma related to bikes.

Major Trauma Co-ordinator at the RHC, Mark Lilley, is encouraged that so many more children are choosing to get on their bikes, but wants them to do so safely.

Children who do not use safety equipment like helmets tend to require admission to hospital as a result of a head injury more than those who have used a helmet.

He said: “Fortunately, the vast majority of children are able to go home following assessment and treatment but for some children head injuries can be serious enough to require admission and can often go on to develop symptoms of concussion.

“This can lead to headaches, fatigue, poor concentration, poor balance or co-ordination, sensitivity to light or noise, changes in mood and nausea.

“I am asking that parents and carers to please continue to encourage their children to keep using their bikes.

“If they have a helmet, please check it is the right size for them. If they do not have a helmet, then many shops have online guidance on how to measure your child’s head correctly to make sure they can get an appropriate sized helmet. Or check out ROSPA for more information on safe cycling.

“We really want to encourage people to keep cycling but to do it safely.”