2015 Bike Helmet Use in Children Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To monitor bicycle helmet use in Halton children aged 5-17 years when riding bicycles.

Background

Federal legislation mandates that every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle. Parents or guardians must not knowingly allow children under the age of 16 to ride a bicycle without a bicycle helmet. A 52% reduction in childhood deaths due to bicycle-related head injuries was observed in Ontario after the mandatory helmet laws in children were implemented.

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS).

Key Findings

  • In 2014/15, 72% of Halton parents reported that their child aged 5-17 always wore a bike helmet when riding a bike. There were no statistically significant changes in children’s bike helmet use from 2001 to 2015.

Age

  • In 2015, the percentage of Halton parents who reported that their child always wore a bike helmet when riding a bike decreased as child’s age increased. These differences were statistically significant when comparing children aged 5-9 and 10-12 to children aged 13-17.

Municipality

  • In 2014/15, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton parents who reported that their child aged 5-17 always wore a bike helmet when riding a bike.

Income

  • In 2015, there were no statistically significant differences by household income in the percentage of Halton parents who reported that their child aged 5-17 always wore a bike helmet when riding a bike.

References

  1. Ontario Ministry of Transportation. 2015. Bicycle safety. Accessed August 2016 (external link)
  2. Oppel, L. 2008. Bike helmets– can we improve on a good thing? Accessed August 2016 (external link)