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ACC-009: Helmet Use for Cycling and Other Recreational Activities:

Helmet Use for Cycling and Other Recreational Activities: The Wisconsin Medical Society:

  • Supports legislation that requires helmet use for bicycles and other recreational activities (e.g. scooters, in-line or roller skates, horse riding, skate boards or unicycles) that pose risk of accident or injury, whether as an operator or passenger.
  • Supports educational programs for parents, riding instructors, and horse show organizers/ managers outlining the risks of certain activities and methods to minimize them.
  • Encourages physicians to counsel their patients to use approved helmets and appropriate protective clothing while cycling.
  • Encourages parents and caregivers to inform and train children about safe cycle-riding behavior.
  • Encourages community agencies, such as those involving law enforcement, schools, and parent-teacher organizations, to promote training programs for the responsible use of cycles.
  • Urges manufacturers to improve the safety and reliability of the vehicles they produce and to support measures to improve cycling safety.
  • Advocates further research on the effectiveness of helmets and on the health outcomes of community programs that mandate their use.
  • Encourages efforts to investigate the impact of helmet use in order to establish the risk of major medical trauma from not wearing helmets, the costs added to the health care system by such behavior, and the payers of these added costs (i.e., private insurance, uncompensated care, Medicare, and Medicaid).
  • Supports the exploration of ways to ensure the wearing of helmets through the use of disincentives or incentives such as licensing fees, insurance premium adjustments and other payment possibilities.
  • Encourages the manufacture, distribution, and utilization of safe, effective, and reasonably priced bicycle helmets, and encourages the availability of helmets at the point of bicycle purchase.
  • Believes that all helmets designed for bicycling and other recreational activities should minimally meet the standards for protective helmets as proposed by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), and ideally meet the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation. (HOD, 0416)