Should Children on Tricycles Wear Helmets? Absolutely, New Study Says

For years, we’ve told children they should always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Now, researchers say tricycle riders should be wearing them as well.

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatric, there were 9,340 cases of children having to make a trip to an to emergency rooms in 2012 and 2013 for falling off a trike. A child’s head was the most common body part injured.

Sean Bandzar, a student at the Medical College of Georgia and co-author of the study, said he noticed a few of his child patients coming in with lacerations to the face after riding tricycles. He wanted to know more about the injuries, and, when he looked at the research on the topic, he found it was limited and outdated.

Using data gathered from 100 emergency rooms, researchers found that boys are more likely than girls to end up in the ER. Two-year-olds had the most tricycle accidents, although there were tricycle injuries for children up to age 7. The most common broken bone was the elbow. The most common injury overall was a facial cut.

In addition to wearing helmets, the authors suggest kids use elbow pads, and that parents supervise children while they ride.

The good news is that most children sent to the ER after tricycle accidents are treated and released with only minor injuries.

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