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School based bicycle safety education and bicycle injuries in children: a case-control study
  1. John B Carlin,
  2. Petra Taylor,
  3. Terry Nolan
  1. Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Royal Children's Hospital and Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Associate Professor John Carlin, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia 3052.


Objectives—To evaluate possible benefits of a school based bicycle safety education program (“Bike Ed”) on the risk of bicycle injury in children.

Methods—A population based case-control study was undertaken in a region of Melbourne, Australia. Cases were children presenting at hospital emergency departments with injuries received while riding bicycles. Controls were recruited by calling randomly selected telephone numbers. Data were collected by personal interview.

Results—Analysis, based on 148 cases and 130 controls aged 9 to 14 years, showed no evidence of a protective effect and suggested a possible harmful effect of exposure to the bicycle safety course (odds ratio (OR) 1.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98 to 2.75). This association was not substantially altered by adjustment for sex, age, socioeconomic status, and exposure, measured as time or distance travelled. Subgroup analysis indicated that the association was strongest in boys (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.8), younger children, children from families with lower parental education levels, and children lacking other family members who bicycle.

Conclusions—It is concluded that this educational intervention does not reduce the risk of bicycle injury in children and may possibly produce harmful effects in some children, perhaps due to inadvertent encouragement of risk taking or of bicycling with inadequate supervision.

  • bicycle injuries
  • education
  • case-control study

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