Tykes on bikes: Injuries associated with bicycle-mounted child seats

Robert R Tanz*, Katherine Kaufer Christoffel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We reviewed US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data for 1978-1988 concerning injuries related to seats used for carrying children on adult bicycles, ie, bicycle-mounted child seats. There were an estimated 4960 injuries to children during the 11-year period. The peak age of injury was two years. Fifty-five percent of victims were male. Falls accounted for 80% of the estimated injuries. Head (51%) and face (21%) injuries predominated. Twenty-one percent of estimated injuries were mild, 60% were moderate, and 19% were severe. All severe injuries involved the head or face, and all mild injuries were to extremities. Riding in a bicycle-mounted child seat exposes the child to adult-level forces, risking injury because of the bicycle’s size, speed, and instability and the child’s size and development. Injury prevention requires recognition of this problem, use of bicycle helmets, improvements in seat design, and educational efforts by physicians and their organizations. This report demonstrates use of CPSC national injury estimates to evaluate a product-related childhood injury and underscores the need to protect potential victims when avoidance of injury is beyond their own capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-301
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


  • Bicycle child carriers
  • Bicycle helmets
  • Bicycle injuries
  • Bicycle-mounted child seats
  • Bicycles
  • National Electronic Injury Surveillance System
  • Product-related injuries. Consumer Product Safety Commission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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