Bicycle helmet law for children: A case study of activism in injury control

P. C. Scheidt, M. H. Wilson, M. S. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1990, the first regulation requiring the use of helmets for bicyclists younger than 16 years of age was passed in Howard County, Maryland. This unexpected injury control measure resulted from the convergence of multiple factors and efforts: the bicycle-related deaths of two children from the same middle school, creative students and teachers motivated by these deaths, a responsive legislator to introduce the legislation, available surveillance and research statistics supporting the need and efficacy for helmet use, increased national awareness of the importance of helmet use to prevent bicycle-related head injuries, and organized national and local public health groups to support the legislation. This case study of activism in injury control illustrates the importance of supporting research, of well-organized public health coalitions and groups, and of creative community activists motivated by local circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1250
Number of pages3
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • bicycle helmet
  • injury prevention
  • legislation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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