Bicycle-related injuries among preschool children

E. C. Powell*, R. R. Tenz, C. DiScala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Study objective: To describe the circumstances, severity, and outcome of bicycle-related injuries among hospitalized children younger than 5 years and to compare injuries in young children (<5 years) and older children (5 to 14 years). Methods: We studied a case series of children (0 to 14 years) with bicycle-related injuries requiring hospital admission reported to the National Pediatric Trauma Registry (NPTR) between January 1986 and June 1996. Results: Bicycle-related injuries were reported for 4,041 patients; 219 (5%) involved children younger than 5 years. Two young children and 124 older children (3%) wore bicycle helmets. Young children were less likely than older ones to be injured in the street (46% versus 81%, P<.001) and were more likely to be injured at home in the driveway or yard (39% versus 9%, P<.001). Interaction with a motor vehicle contributed to injuries in 31% of young children and 47% of older children (P<.001). Forty-five percent of young children and 56% of older children sustained head injuries (P<.002). The fractions of children in each age group with facia trauma, abdominal or thoracic injury, and fractures were similar Pediatric Trauma Scores, Glasgow Coma Scale scores, operating room use rates, and median number of hospital days were similar for both age groups. Rehabilitation or extended care was required by 1% of young children and 2% of older children. Two deaths occurred among young children (1%); 2% of older children died Conclusion: Of patients with bicycle-related injuries reported to the NPTR, a minority are young children but they have injuries similar in severity and outcome to those of older children. Because young children sustain severe injuries, including heart trauma, hemets are indicated for them, as well as for older children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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