Child Cycling Injury Prevention

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1 Child Cycling Injury Prevention Simone Randle Injury Prevention Advisor

2 Cycling fatalities, All child cyclist deaths: 12 deaths: 11 boys, 1 girl 7 deaths amongst boys yrs 6 NZ European children Child cyclist deaths involving a motor vehicle: 8 deaths All boys 5-14 yrs 4 Tamariki Maori Photos Credit RIDE ON Nelson/Tasman

3 Cycling hospitalisation, ,348 hospitalisations, 6% of all child unintentional injury hospitalisations yrs = 57%, 14.1 per 100,000 Significantly higher injury risk for: Boys Tamariki Maori, and European children Children from areas of high deprivation 93% injured in a non-motor vehicle crash Boys account for 76% 5 to 9 yrs account for 33%; yrs account for 57%

4 Exposure & Injury Risk Time spent cycling (exposure) is an important factor in injury risk Decreased cycling Decreased bicycle use Increased risk of injury Children and adolescents are spending less time cycling OECD data shows that NZ children years are particularly vulnerable 2nd highest fatality rate per 100,000/average km travelled

5 Legislation & Policy Safer Journeys Strategy & Action Plan ( ): Cycling and need to reduce injury is a priority area Priority strategies: safe routes, lower speeds, education, training & community initiatives Support for share the road campaigns and model communities Land Transport Road User Rule (2004) Clause 11.8 Safety helmets for cyclists: mandates the use of standard approved helmets while riding on the road Clause Prohibits riding on footpath unless delivering mail/ newspapers NZTA Official New Zealand Code for Cyclists: Small wheeled recreational device with a wheel diameter of less than 355 millimetres allowed on the footpath toy bicycles.

6 Key Interventions: Helmets The evidence is crystal clear Effective in protecting from head and brain injury in collision and non-collision injuries Cochrane Review, 2009: 69% reduction in head injury 69% reduction in brain injury 74% reduction in sever brain injury Helmets must be fitted and worn correctly to be effective Unfortunately use of helmets reduces as children age

7 Key Interventions: Helmets

8 Key Interventions: Helmets Support from key community stakeholders to increase helmet use: Advice from doctor ED or GP Letters from local ED clinician to schools School based education programmes Recommendations: Increase awareness of how to fit and wear a helmet correctly Initiatives to promote increased use of helmets among older children especially year olds

9 Key interventions: Cycle skills training programmes Key tool in developing confident and capable cyclists NZTA Guide for Cycle Skills Training, offered in range of locations around NZ Evidence of some positive effect in increasing knowledge and improving observed riding skills Recommendation: Encourage participation in cycle skills training especially among high risk groups Children under 10 not on the road unless accompanied by a competent adult Children cycling on footpath should be slow and alert to risks Careful supervision & skills training is recommended to support transition to cycling on roads

10 Key interventions: Safer use of bicycles as part of active travel Integrating safe user-friendly cycle routes is important part of school travel plans NZ guidelines available to support cycle trains low uptake of cycling as part of school travel plans in some areas concerns re safety/injury Recommendation: Develop national policy to support school travel plans Identify opportunities to support children to cycle to school while not increasing risk of injury for child cyclists

11 Key interventions: Increasing visibility of child cyclists Child cyclists at increased risk of not being seen by other road users Visibility aids bright clothing, lights, reflectors, hi viz jackets increase conspicuity Limited research but children s reactions are positive and they use visibility aids Findings from adults indicate decreased risk of injury among those who always wear florescent clothing Recommendation: Encourage children to wear visibility aids to make it easier for other road users to see them

12 Key interventions: Engineering interventions Range of engineering features support safety among child cyclists 1. Safe Crossing Places 2. Traffic calming measures 3. School zone restrictions 4. Cycle lanes and paths Recommendation: Reduce speed limits on urban roads range of benefits for child cyclists, and pedestrians Separate cycle lanes and paths provide greatest protection for child cyclists and may encourage increased participation by families in cycling Ensure there are safe crossing places as part of safe routes to school for child cyclists Share the road campaigns to create supportive road user culture

13 For more information: Free workshops: Auckland, 22 May Auckland Pacific, 15 June Auckland Maori, 25 June Orewa, 26 June Auckland North, 27 June Safekids Cycling Position Paper and Factsheet Free resources Photos Credit RIDE ON Nelson/Tasman

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