Friday, September 9, 2011

The ACCC & Product Safety Australia

Bicycle helmet injuries

Date commenced: 25th August 2010

* In 2009, a five year old boy from Tasmania died when his helmet got caught on the clothesline while he was bouncing on a trampoline.

* In 2007, a three year old boy from South Australia died when his helmet got caught while he was climbing through a window.

* In 2003, a two year old boy from Victoria died when his helmet got caught on his bunk bed.


From the ACCC's own website, Product Safety Australia clearly states that:

'where evidence shows a risk of serious injury or illness related to certain sporting and recreation products, these products must meet compulsory safety requirements known as mandatory safety standards. In some cases dangerous sporting and recreation goods are banned from supply in Australia.'

Therefore in light of this statement & the fact that bicycle helmets have been identified as products that may place us at a 'risk of serious injury', it appears that the reason a mandatory standard is required for bicycle helmets is to provide a regulated form of protection from the actual bicycle helmets themselves.

So what was our government thinking when it suddenly created laws to force us to wear bicycle helmets when the corporate watch-dog had identified them as potentially risky?

Why didn't they ever do this for vaccines?

Why is informed 'non-immunisation' a health issue rather than a criminal issue?

Why is informed 'non-bicycle-helmet-wearing' a criminal issue rather than a health issue?

Our bicycle helmet law sucks...sigh


  1. Sue, last I heard there were quite a few kids who had been strung up by helmet straps. The most telling was the Swedish helmet researchers who stated "We know we have killed but we dont know if we have saved anybody."
    A related matter I wanted to mention came up in a conversation with a local who used to work the moulding machinery for a helmet manufacturer. He said the outer shell of the helmet is usually the same size regardless of the head it has to fit and a helmet for a smaller head then has to have thicker foam. This means that kids who obviously will have smaller heads are then in greater danger of Diffuse Axonal Injury due to the added rotational effect.

  2. It's shocking - what is the matter with us?

    Tellingly, the law is utterly silent on very young children's heads and commercial protection. Helmet standards are not enforceable for Double AA headforms which rougly fit the heads of our 4 year olds and under. To me, this speaks volumes; no-one thinks they're safe which is why the RTA here in NSW advises that we think carefully about our children's development before we actively put them on bicycles - there is no 'clearly stated' policy on helmets for infants and toddlers; just general advice about it's not safe to cycle with the very young child - unbelievable - and we let them get away with it