Bicycling-Related Injuries among Children in Greece
- Cite this article as:
- Klimentopoulou, A., Paliokosta, E., Towner, E. et al. Eur J Trauma (2004) 30: 182. doi:10.1007/s00068-004-1401-1
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To evaluate the burden and patterns of nonmotorized bicycle-related injuries in Greece.
Material and Methods:
Emergency departments of four hospitals across the country, forming an Emergency Department Injury Surveillance System (EDISS), provided injury occurrence data. Exposure data, such as person time spent cycling as well as patterns of bicycle use, were derived from a school survey undertaken by the Center for Research and Prevention of Injuries. Population data were obtained from the National Statistical Service of Greece. Nationwide incidence rates of bicycle-related injuries were estimated. In order to assess patterns of injuries, a Barell diagnostic matrix was constructed, in which bicycle injuries that occurred on roads were compared to off-road ones in order to identify correlates of the generally more serious onroad injuries.
2,711 children with bicycle-related injuries (4.8%) were found among the 56,132 injured children 0–14 years recorded in EDISS during a 3-year period. The incidence of bicycle-related injuries was estimated at about 7.9 per 1,000 children-years or about 20 per 1,000 bicycle-using children per year. Almost half of the children sustained head injuries. No child was wearing a helmet either among those injured or among the school survey participants. 12% of bicycle injuries required hospitalization.
Injuries are common among bicycle-using children in Greece, they frequently affect the head and are generally serious. In spite of this unenviable situation, dedicated bicycle lanes are almost nonexistent and bicycle helmet promotion campaigns have not yet been conducted.