Children actually want cycle helmet law

Despite the fact that many youngsters shun cycle helmets, it appears that boys and girls aged 11-16 would actually welcome a law that enforces their wear.

The Brain Injury Group has carried out anecdotal research in association with Activate Sportswear amongst 100 active cyclists in the 11-16 age group, and this showed that 69% would prefer it if the law said that you had to wear a helmet if you were under 16.

Strangely enough; only 34% of these children said that they always wore helmets, while 36% said they sometimes wore one and a worrying 30% said that they never wore a helmet.


More boys than girls never wear a cycle helmet (20% compared to 13%). The same percentage (43%) sometimes wear a cycle helmet while 45% of girls claim to always wear one compared to 37% of boys.


When it comes to skiing, more children always wear a helmet compared to cycle helmets (47% compared to 34%) but a worrying 38% said they never wore a ski helmet (compared to 30% who never wear a cycle helmet). 


Parents on bikes and skis need to lead by example – and their children would welcome them taking a more pro-active stance on helmet wear. The survey showed that 56% of these youngsters’ parents wore a cycle helmet but only 38% wore a skiing helmet – leaving 62% of parents skiing without protective headgear. Children would definitely like to see their parents wear a ski helmet with a resounding 72% saying adults should do so.

“It still baffles me why so many youngsters resist wearing a helmet while cycling or skiing: they clearly don’t realise how a split-second impact could result in a life-changing brain injury that could render them incapacitated, disabled or worse,” says Lisa Turan of the Children Brain Injury Trust.

Christine Tallon, a solicitor at Leigh Day who specialises in brain injury claims agrees. “In our specialist field of work we see the devastating effects of brain injuries among adults and children who come off their bikes,” she says. “These cases are often traumatic with lifelong consequences,” she says.

Christine also strongly favours wearing a ski helmet having had two thankfully minor accidents herself in recent years. “I narrowly avoided a head injury but thankfully I was wearing a helmet whilst skiing: I think they should be made compulsory for adults and children on the slopes,” she says. “It is very worrying when one hears about the number of head injuries sustained whilst skiing and which often occur at high speed. The severity of some of these would be potentially far less and in many cases could be avoided entirely if people were to wear helmets.”

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