Bicycle Helmet Laws are Tough Sell
The Canadian Paediatric Society recently called for mandatory bicycle helmet laws across Canada. In my practice and in my personal experience the medical profession is well placed to make the call. They are the ones who treat those who are injured, and they are the ones who see the damage caused and prevented by helmets.
The need for legislation is clear. The CPA position paper clearly states
"Evidence for unintended consequences of helmet legislation, such as reduced bicycling and greater risk-taking, is weak and conflicting...both research evidence to date and recognition of the substantial impact of traumatic brain injuries support the recommendation for all-ages bicycle helmet legislation."
The chorus of those against helmet legislation includes arguments that they are ugly, stupid looking, and pose a barrier to entrance in cycling at a time when record numbers of people are obese. Frankly, these are not reasonable arguments against wearing a helmet. The arguments against seat belt legislation were very much the same as these, and yet we have seen the number and severity of injuries decrease dramatically with their forced use. Now putting a seatbelt on is second nature for almost all of us.