Heads up on helmets - Developing a parent fact sheet about teenagers an bike helmets
Bicycle helmets are reported to reduce the risk and severity of head injury by more than 60% [1, 2]. The mandatory use of bicycle helmets has been required by law in NSW for almost two decades. Despite this, legislation data indicates that many adolescent cyclists continue to ride without their bicycle helmet. In NSW half of the adolescent cyclists involved in a bicycle crash were not wearing a bicycle helmet (where helmet usage was known) and a quarter of young cyclists sustained a head injury .
Studies reviewing the effectiveness of bicycle helmet use initiatives found a strong link between parent involvement and helmet use by adolescents [4, 5]. They point to a need for more parental input citing that although parents appear to underestimate their ability to positively influence their children, evidence suggests that parents have a strong influence on adolescent behaviour . A review of existing resources indicates that many bicycle safety programs are designed for primary school children and don?t always include parental involvement. To support parental awareness and involvement and to provide relevant information for young adolescent cyclists, Youthsafe has developed a fact sheet, for parents of 12-15 year olds, about the importance of correct bicycle helmet usage.