May 12, 2014 2:13 pm

Emergency room doctors want bikers to wear helmets

Saskatoon emergency room doctors want bikers to put them out of work by wearing helmets.

Leslie Knight / Global News

SASKATOON – Emergency room doctors in Saskatoon want bikers in the city to put them out of work by wearing helmets.

According to statistics from the Saskatoon Health Region, only 22 per cent of bikers in Saskatchewan wear helmets compared to 37 per cent in the rest of Canada.

Research has shown wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head and brain injury by 85 per cent.

It’s not unusual for us to have someone come in with some type of a head injury as a result of a bicycle mishap,” says Dr. Emily Sullivan.

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“The injury can range from cuts and bruises to a traumatic brain injury that can have a person suffer long term symptoms like headaches, memory loss or depression, all of which could have been prevented by wearing a helmet.”

Sullivan has been focussing on bike mishaps as part of her research into injury prevention.

As part of bicycle safety week, emergency room doctors will wear scrubs with the message “Put me out of work. Wear your bike helmet.”

Saskatchewan is one of three provinces that does not have a bike helmet law.

Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, along with the three territories, also have no mandatory bike helmet law.

Wearing bike helmets is mandatory in British Columbia Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick while anyone under 18 in Ontario and Alberta and those under 16 in Manitoba are required to wear bike helmets.

Saskatoon city council unanimously rejected mandatory use of bike helmets in 2007.

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