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Friday, March 1, 2013

Helmet laws may be reducing kids' head injuries by encouraging kids to ride bikes less

Cycling is popular among children, but results in thousands of injuries annually. In recent years, many states and localities have enacted bicycle helmet laws. We examine direct and indirect effects of these laws on injuries. Using hospital-level panel data and triple difference models, we find helmet laws are associated with reductions in bicycle-related head injuries among children. However, laws also are associated with decreases in non-head cycling injuries, as well as increases in head injuries from other wheeled sports. Thus, the observed reduction in bicycle-related head injuries may be due to reductions in bicycle riding induced by the laws.

1 comment:

  1. Wait. In a time when everyone's proclaiming the obesity of kids, they want kids to ride bikes *less*.
    Yeah. Pretty smart thinking there!