Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children older than one year of age and one of the most common reasons for paediatric presentation to the emergency department. Pedal cyclist incidents alone are responsible for 10% of hospitalisations for head injuries among Australian children. Helmets have been proven to be effective at preventing and reducing the severity of head injuries, however head injury still occurs to approximately 20% of injured child bicyclists despite helmet wearing.
Poor helmet positioning (misuse) undermines the protective benefit and has been observed in up to 85% of child bicyclists. Misuse in children relates to poor helmet fit and comfort stemming from child helmets being designed as scaled down adult helmets and not accounting for variations in head and face shape throughout child development.
We aim to define the head, face and neck shapes of children needed for appropriate helmet shell and retention system design and define the factors for helmet misuse among child bicyclists.