Bicycles are associated with more
childhood injuries than any other consumer product except the automobile.
More than 70% of children ages 5-14 ride bicycles. On average,
168 Kansas children ages 0-14 die or are injured as a result of
a pedal-cyclist crash in traffic each year. Head injury is the
leading cause of death in bicycle crashes. Traumatic brain injuries
occur in 45% of the hospitalizations for bicycle crash injuries.
48% of the children hospitalized for bike injuries are age 5-9
and 78% are male. Bike helmets have been shown to reduce the risk
of head injury by 85% and the risk of brain injury by almost 90%.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that only 15-25% of kids wear helmets.
The good news is that a recent national survey of children age
8-12 found that they were more likely to wear a helmet if their
parents make it a rule in their home, if there was a law or ordinance
requiring helmet use, or if they knew someone who was badly hurt
because they did not wear a helmet.
The Safe Kids Kansas CYCLE
SMART program is designed to increase the number of children
protected by bicycle helmets by making reduced-price helmets and
an educational program available to Kansas children. Helmets are
distributed in local communities through ongoing bicycle safety
programs and bicycle rodeos. Helmets in a variety of colors and
sizes are made available to children at a discounted price. Educational
materials are made available to communities free of charge. The
program has been credited with 10 documented lives saved and is
a recipient of the National Bell Sportsmanship Award from Bell
Sports in 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and the Secretary's Award for
Excellence from Health and Human Services.
- Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 136,000 helmets have been distributed to Kansas children.
- Safe Kids Kansas provides bike helmets to the Kansas State Department of Education for use in its Body Venture health education exhibit for K-5th grade students. Body Venture is presented at over 100 schools throughout the state each year, interacting with up to 500 students each day. During the Body Venture, students learn about the brain and how important a helmet is in protecting the brain from injury. Each participating school receives two bike helmets to award as incentive prizes to students.
- Educational videos are available upon request. See contact page for information.
- See the resources below for information on how to sponsor a cycle smart program in your community and for tips on how to keep your family safe during wheeled activities.
Resources for a Successful Bike Safety Program/Rodeo:
Activities for Kids:
Headed for Injury
An Observational Survey of Helmet Use Among Children Ages 5 to 14 Participating in Wheeled Sports