Analyzing pediatric bicycle injuries using geo-demographic data

Gareth P. Gilna, Justin Stoler, Rebecca A. Saberi, Adriana C. Baez, Walter A. Ramsey, Carlos T. Huerta, Christopher F. O'Neil, Rishi Rattan, Eduardo A. Perez, Juan E. Sola, Chad M. Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Bicycle accidents are potentially preventable, and helmets can mitigate the severity of injuries. The purpose of the study it to investigate geo-demographic areas to establish prevention policies and targeted programs. Methods: From October 2013 to March 2020 all bicycle injuries at a Level 1 trauma center were collected for ages ≤18 years. Demographics, injuries, and outcomes were analyzed. Incidents were aggregated to zip codes and the Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) statistic was used to test for spatial clustering of injury rates per 10,000 children. Results: Over the 8-year time period, 77 cases were identified with an average age of 13±4 years, 83% male and 48% non-Hispanic white. The majority of patients (98%) were not wearing a helmet. Loss of consciousness was reported in 44% and 21% sustained a traumatic brain injury. Twenty-eight percent required ICU care and 36% required operative interventions. There was only 1 mortality in the cohort (<1%).Injuries were more common in lower household income zip codes (Figure 1). Six zip codes encompassing several interstate exits and the connected heavy-traffic roadways comprise a statistically significant cluster of pediatric bicycle accidents (Figure 1). Conclusion: Low-income neighborhoods and those near major roadways held the highest risk for pediatric bicycle accidents. Use of helmets was extremely low in the patient population, with high rates of traumatic brain injury. With this information, targeted programs to address high-risk intersections, helmet access, and safety education can be implemented locally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-917
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bicycle
  • Helmet
  • Pediatric
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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