Should cycle helmets be mandatory?

Under 16s should be made to wear cycle helmets by law, say doctors

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The risks of serious head injuries in children would be dramatically reduced with the introduction of a law forcing them to wear cycle helmets, according to leading doctors.

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Members of the Association of Paediatric Emergency Medicine (APEM) and the College of Emergency Medicine have called for the law to be changed so under 16s have to wear helmets. 

“I have seen a number of children present with serious head injuries resulting from bicycle riding,” said Dr John Heyworth, president of the College of Emergency Medicine. “It is extremely frustrating to know the extent of these injuries could have been dramatically reduced had the child worn a helmet.”

Tests have shown that wearing a helmet could reduce the risk of children suffering a head injury by 85% and a severe brain injury by 75%.

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The Department for Transport responded by saying that the wearing of helmets should be encouraged but remain voluntary and cycling should be made safer in other ways, such as speed restrictions.

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