Cycling-related head injuries decreasing

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is reporting that the number of cycling-related head injuries is decreasing in many provinces, including Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is reporting that the number of cycling-related head injuries is decreasing in many provinces, including Newfoundland and Labrador.

The number of cycling-related head injuries decreased from 907 to 665 between 2001 and 2010, according to CIHI. During that same period, the number of cycling injury hospitalizations remained relatively stable.

The vast majority - 78 per cent - of head injury victims weren't wearing a helmet, CIHI reports, but the decrease in number of injuries points to an increased use of helmets among cyclists, said Pamela Fuselli, executive director of Safe Kids Canada.

"While the number of cycling injuries has remained static over the past decade, the good news is that many studies are showing that the widespread use of helmets has resulted in fewer serious head injuries among children," she said.

While cycling injuries are declining, the number of all terrain vehicle accidents is on the rise, Claire Fortin, a manager with CIHI. She said the Institute is reporting a 31 per cent increase in ATV injuries nationwide since 2001.

"Consequently, it is something to be concerned about," said Fortin.

Those at the highest risk of injury were young men aged 15 to 24 years old.