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  #21  
Old 12.06.2012, 15:00
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I have been following the Swiss government's proposal to make children under 14 wearing cycling helmets compulsory (Kinder Helmpflicht). To me it is unbelievable, but parliament have deliberately dropped this proposal. I read last week that the Swiss cycling club agreed to drop the idea, with the thinking "If it is obligatory people will fight it. If it is not, then all sensible parents will make their children wear one anyway".... ?!
Could you share with me the evidence that shows cycle helmets make a difference.

Preferably effects on:
- deaths
- disability
- injury

If you could provide the evidence, people might take the idea more seriously. Indeed, the government might take it seriously. However, AFAIK, there is no real evidence comparing cohorts of accident victims. Which is supported by the fact that the Swiss government stopped the bill and the BFU and, I guess bike groups, really have given up.

What I also know is that of the 3 bike fatalities that have touched my life, the helmets worn made f...-all difference...
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  #22  
Old 12.06.2012, 15:00
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Do you not wear a helmet skiing, either?
Certainly not!

Motorcycles, yes.

Bicycles/skiing, no.

Tom
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  #23  
Old 12.06.2012, 15:03
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Yeah, that works great when some out of control skier slams into you as you come of the lift, knocking you unconscious and breaking a few bones.

Do tell me how your greater skill levels help you here?
Fair point, but a very rare occurrence. I'm guessing it happened to you, so that's 1 case I know of.

As for skills, I didn't say I had them, just that I prefer to try and acquire them...
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Old 12.06.2012, 15:04
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Could you share with me the evidence that shows cycle helmets make a difference.

Preferably effects on:
- deaths
- disability
- injury

If you could provide the evidence, people might take the idea more seriously.
I believe there are statistics that show a reduction in brain damage for children wearing cycle helmets, compared with those not wearing them.
Children do silly thing on bikes - at low speed, in the kind of accidents where wearing helmets would make a difference.

The same doesn't appear to be true for adults who don't tend to fall off in the same manner or frequency.

The proposed law change was for children with helmets and not adults.
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Old 12.06.2012, 15:05
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Well, I don't see how wearing them could be more unsafe, not sure I buy the "people take more chances" argument mentioned above.
Oh, I can guarantee that when I am wearing full racing leathers, I ride rather differently when wearing ballistic nylon or (good forbid, but I do it sometimes) shorts!

Tom
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Old 12.06.2012, 15:05
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Fair point, but a very rare occurrence. I'm guessing it happened to you, so that's 1 case I know of.

As for skills, I didn't say I had them, just that I prefer to try and acquire them...
No - my wife. She knows of others as well in similar accidents.
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  #27  
Old 12.06.2012, 15:09
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I believe there are statistics that show a reduction in brain damage for children wearing cycle helmets, compared with those not wearing them.
Children do silly thing on bikes - at low speed, in the kind of accidents where wearing helmets would make a difference.
I would suggest that the data are not that compelling, then.

Think of the broader situation and the speeding thread(s) where the police are bemoaned for "raking in the money". Well, they'd make a tonne of money if they made cycling helmets mandatory and fined non-compliance. The standard "stick" in CH is money through fines, when and where it is deemed necessary by the authorities.

The fact that the authorities don't agree on this helmet issue, just reinforces the possibility that the data are not compelling enough.

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  1. others wearing a helmet might be under the impression that a helmet greatly improves their security (which it clearly does NOT) and ride more recklessly. (This is something seen on the ski slopes as well, many believe a helmet and a back protector is like a safe-pass to recklessness).
Nope. Well not on ski slopes anyway. I've posted the link to the one or two published articles on this somewhere on EF. The "I'm safer so I'll ski more dangerously" idea is an urban myth.
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Old 12.06.2012, 15:21
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I would suggest that the data are not that compelling, then.

I guess it;s difficult to prove whether children wearing helmets would make a difference to brain injury statistics.

I suppose a sure fire way would be to make them illegal for a couple of years and then make them compulsory for a couple of years and measure the difference.

Of course, other factors may then come into play such as children refusing to cycle if they have to wear a helmet.

The most compelling argument for not making children wear helmets is in case it puts them off cycling, as childhood obesity is a far greater health problem than trauma from bike accidents.
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  #29  
Old 12.06.2012, 15:59
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

everybody in the Gringo House wears helmets everywhere, all day, every day. after all, the risk of serious head injury after your child gets run over by an over-anxious pensioner at Migros is far greater than the risk of head injury riding to the local sports park. and don't even get me started on the risk of one of my idjit children hitting their head on the do-it-yourself amusement park rides the Swiss seem to love so dearly up in the mountains.

there's danger everywhere people. we're actually considering putting our kids in full pads, as well.
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Old 12.06.2012, 16:17
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I guess it;s difficult to prove whether children wearing helmets would make a difference to brain injury statistics.

I suppose a sure fire way would be to make them illegal for a couple of years and then make them compulsory for a couple of years and measure the difference.

Of course, other factors may then come into play such as children refusing to cycle if they have to wear a helmet.

The most compelling argument for not making children wear helmets is in case it puts them off cycling, as childhood obesity is a far greater health problem than trauma from bike accidents.
i wouldnt think the fat kid thing is as big of an issue here as it is in the US and UK where it seems like half the butterballs running around are wearing xxl tshirts at age 12.

this thread is silly. i dont understand the outrage by the OP. if you feel so strongly about making sure kids wear helmets, make sure yours wear them.
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Old 12.06.2012, 16:57
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

In Canada, the law has been around for a little while already, other than children it is very standard for adults to wear them out of choice as well.

Many are shocked when they come to europe. For starters, positive that so many utilize bicycles as a standard form of transportation, but negative that so few wear helmets.

My Swiss grandfather passed away from head injuries in a helmet-less moped accident, and my father was very strict about always wearing a helmet when on a bike. This caused quite a bit of bullying and ridicule when growing up (as helmets were almost absent at the time). As a teenager, I was struck by a drunk driver when on my bike and it seems that my helmet saved my life, as it sustained remarkable damage and I still received severe head injuries--couldn't imagine what it would be like without.
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  #32  
Old 12.06.2012, 17:54
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

Who cares about statistics, they are designed for manipulation.
You don't need to be a statistician or a scientist.

Put on a helmet, grab a one kilo piece of kurbstone with a sharp edge and drop it on your head from say 10cm above.
Remove the helmet and repeat.

Then decide for yourself which is safer.
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  #33  
Old 12.06.2012, 18:08
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Who cares about statistics, they are designed for manipulation.
You don't need to be a statistician or a scientist.

Put on a helmet, grab a one kilo piece of kurbstone with a sharp edge and drop it on your head from say 10cm above.
Remove the helmet and repeat.

Then decide for yourself which is safer.
That's fine if you're also wanting to manipulate the results. Why not do some more accurate simulations? Such as the (proven) fact that car drivers drive closer to cyclists with helmets, which could (not proven) cause more accidents?

Or instead, bang yourself on the head with a kerbstone (without a sharp edge) and compare the damage to having your head/neck forcibly rotated as would happen when a helmet hits the ground?

Or instead work out the damage cost of people in slow accidents putting their hands out and stopping/limiting the hitting force on the head - which occurs as a natural reaction to falling - with someone whose head has been "extended" by a few cm of the helmet and hence hits the ground earlier. And then rotates.

Your idea is just as useless as all the stats.

The only way is to take every accident that happens with a helmet and totally replicate it with another cyclist not wearing one. And vice versa. That will never happen, so threads like this will always end up in polarised viewpoints which no side can ever prove.
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  #34  
Old 12.06.2012, 18:18
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Who cares about statistics, they are designed for manipulation.
You don't need to be a statistician or a scientist.

Put on a helmet, grab a one kilo piece of kurbstone with a sharp edge and drop it on your head from say 10cm above.
Remove the helmet and repeat.

Then decide for yourself which is safer.
<additional suggestions>
Or rather, after you Golly, old chap/ess, after you.
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  #35  
Old 12.06.2012, 18:22
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Your idea is just as useless as all the stats.
Of course it was. The point was to decide for yourself which is safer.
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Old 12.06.2012, 18:33
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Who cares about statistics, they are designed for manipulation.
You don't need to be a statistician or a scientist.

Put on a helmet, grab a one kilo piece of kurbstone with a sharp edge and drop it on your head from say 10cm above.
Remove the helmet and repeat.

Then decide for yourself which is safer.
this reminds me of an old joke my grandfather used to tell when I was a kid:

a young boy walks into a public restroom, and winds up at a urinal next to an old man. as they finish up, the old man stops at one of the sinks while the young boy heads toward the door. seeing this, the old man stops the boy and scolds him, "you know, my mother taught me to always wash my hands."

to which the young boy replies, "you know, my mother taught me not to piss on my hands."
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Old 12.06.2012, 18:35
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

Concerning the study of drivers driving closer to those who wear helmets, I'd put it in the same category of women wearing more revealing/sexy clothing being more likely to be sexually assaulted and such.
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Old 12.06.2012, 18:53
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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That's fine if you're also wanting to manipulate the results. Why not do some more accurate simulations? Such as the (proven) fact that car drivers drive closer to cyclists with helmets, which could (not proven) cause more accidents?

Or instead, bang yourself on the head with a kerbstone (without a sharp edge) and compare the damage to having your head/neck forcibly rotated as would happen when a helmet hits the ground?

Or instead work out the damage cost of people in slow accidents putting their hands out and stopping/limiting the hitting force on the head - which occurs as a natural reaction to falling - with someone whose head has been "extended" by a few cm of the helmet and hence hits the ground earlier. And then rotates.
Do you really believe all that!, or are you just being contrary
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Old 12.06.2012, 19:10
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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I believe it is a got idea that helmet use is NOT obligatory BY LAW. The problem is that if it would be, then:
  1. "cool" kids would stop wearing a helmet just to be cool
  2. others wearing a helmet might be under the impression that a helmet greatly improves their security (which it clearly does NOT) and ride more recklessly. (This is something seen on the ski slopes as well, many believe a helmet and a back protector is like a safe-pass to recklessness).
This is more or less what PRO VELO says.


Überflüssige Massnahme

Schon heute tragen 70% der Kinder und Jugendlichen einen Velohelm. Beispiele aus dem Ausland zeigen, dass ein Obligatorium die Quote nur mehr wenig erhöhen könnte. Freiwillige Massnahmen brächten ähnlichen Erfolg, aber weniger Nebenwirkungen.

Today already 70% of the Kids and young adults wear helmets. Examples from other countries show that there isn't much room for improvement if wearing a helmet is compulsory! Voluntary measures show the same effect with fewer side effects.


Helmpflicht schreckt ab

Helmobligatorien führen zu einem Rückgang der Velonutzung. Dies haben verschiedene ausländische Studien gezeigt. Je weniger Velofahrende aber auf der Strasse unterwegs sind, desto gefährlicher ist es für diese.

Studies show that compulsory measures lead to fewer people riding bicycles. The fewer cyclists on the road the more danger for them.


Die Polizei hat Wichtigeres zu tun

Ein Helmobligatorium würde sich nur mit hohen Kosten durchsetzen lassen. Da Kinder nicht gebüsst werden können, entstände für die Polizei ein grosser Administrativaufwand. Bevor der Polizei zusätzliche Aufgaben mit fraglichem Nutzen auferlegt werden, sollten ihr die Mittel gegeben werden, ihre bisherigen Aufgaben für die Sicherheit der Radfahrenden besser wahrzunehmen (z.B. Abstellen von Autos auf Radwegen, gefährliche Verhaltensweisen in Kreiseln, usw.).

Police has more important work.
There would be high cost involved with enforcing the law. As kids can't be charged the administrive expenses will grow. Before giving the police more tasks of debatable benefit we should give them the resources to fulfill the already existing tasks in order for the safety of cyclists (Parking cars on the bicycle lanes, dangerous behaviour in circle traffic etc)

In the 70's and 80's the percentage of people who wore helmets on bicycles or on ski slopes was near zero. This has hugely improved without compulsory measures.
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Old 12.06.2012, 19:59
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Re: Cycling helmets for children are still not compulsory!!

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Do you really believe all that!, or are you just being contrary
A little bit of both; it was an attempt to show that there are opposing viewson whether wearing a helmet is a good idea or not - and no-one has enough real evidence to properly support either side.

However, this OP is about children wearing helmets. They tend to wobble around, cycle slower, and fall off a bit more frequently. This type of accident (slow, and just falling rather than being knocked off) is probably what helmets are best at protecting for, therefore I think having children wearing helmets is a good idea. Parents can decide that themselves; it doesn't need a law imo.
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