Research Papers

An Investigation of Circumstances Contributing to Child Bicyclist Injuries in Three Canadian Municipalities.

Version 1
Date added June 18, 2019
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Category 2019 CARSP XXIX Calgary
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 2B
Author/Auteur Aucoin, Hubka, Zanotto, Ling, Doan, Beno, Stang, Howard, McCormack, Nettel-Aguirre, Teschke, Winters, Hagel
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation Only:

2B_Aucoin

Abstract:

Background/Context: Bicycling improves the physical and mental health of children along with increasing physical literacy, yet there is an ongoing decline in Canadian bicycle participation in part due to the perceived risk of injury. Bicycling injuries are one of the leading causes of sport and recreation related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths for children in Canada. Children's vulnerability to bicycling injuries is unique, due to their ongoing neurocognitive development, under-developed problem-solving abilities, and their different use of the built environment such as traffic infrastructure when compared with adults. Despite being imperative for the development of effective primary prevention strategies, there remains a lack of knowledge related to injury outcome distribution and their circumstances in children.

Aims/Objectives: To assess injury outcomes and circumstances related to child bicyclist injuries in three urban centres across Canada.

Methods/Targets: We recruited eligible children aged 5-17 years who were injured while riding a bicycle recreationally within city limits and who presented to the Emergency Department of a children's hospital in one of three municipalities (Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto) from May to November 2018. Participants completed a 30-45-minute interviewer-administered questionnaire designed to capture detailed information on injury circumstances from the perspective of the injured child. Descriptive statistics were calculated to summarize the distribution of injury type, collision status, time of day, intersection status, and bicyclist sex and age.

Results/Activities: To date, 47 participant interviews have been conducted (Vancouver =15, Calgary =17, Toronto =15). Preliminary analysis indicates upper extremity breaks and fractures (42%), lacerations (40%), and soft tissue injuries (28%) were the most commonly reported injuries. The majority of injuries (76%) occurred during the daytime, between dawn and dusk. Of preliminary results to date, 55% involved a collision with another object; however, there were some differences observed for proportion of collisions between sites with Vancouver and Toronto both reporting 60%, and Calgary with 47%. Injuries at an intersection were reported 20% of the time; however, the distribution varied across sites with Toronto reporting the highest proportion of injuries occurring at intersections (34%), followed by Vancouver (27%), and Calgary had the lowest (6%). Future analyses will incorporate factors such as the object collided with, make additional comparisons between municipalities, and will seek to explore possible associations between injury type, circumstances, and bicyclist characteristics.

Discussion/Deliverables: Preliminary findings reveal that most child bicyclist injuries occurred during the daytime, involved the upper extremities, and that the majority were the result of a collision with an object. By better understanding the types of injuries occurring and the circumstances leading up to the injury, we can aim to inform the key stakeholders at municipal, provincial and federal levels as they develop policy and education interventions to increase child bicyclist safety and participation.

Conclusions: Additional child specific information on bicyclist injuries from this study can inform the development of primary prevention interventions. By looking at the distribution and type of injuries sustained we will be able to better provide an evidence base for recommendations to create safer built environments for child bicyclists while encouraging bicycling behavior across Canada.