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First Aid for Bicyclists





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Basic First Aid For Bicycle Travel and Tours


The best solution is prevention.  Prudent behavior and appropriate precautions can go a long way in avoiding or reducing injuries.  Understanding how and where injuries occur can help prevent them by increasing your awareness of risks and hazards. Correcting or mitigating risks and hazards, where possible, and educating others to be aware of these conditions can make life safer and more fun 

Good Samaritan Laws.  Many jurisdictions have Good Samaritan laws to protect people who willingly provide emergency care without accepting anything in return.  These laws differ somewhat from place to place, but generally help protect people who act in good faith, within the scope of their training and are not negligent.  Negligence can encompass failing to provide care, providing care beyond the scope of practice or level of training, providing inappropriate care and failing to control or stop any behavior that could result in further harm or injury.

Consent. If the patient is conscious you must obtain consent before providing first aid or emergency care.  To obtain consent; state your name, tell the person what level of training you have, ask the person if you may help and explain what you plan to do.  If the patient is a minor, consent need to be obtained from a parent or guardian, if they are present.

Implied Consent. Someone who is unconscious, confused or seriously injured or ill may not be able to grant consent. In these cases, the law generally assumes the victim would give consent if he or she were able to do so.  This is called implied consent.  Implied consent also applies to a minor who needs emergency medical assistance and whose parents or guardian is not present.

Refusal of Care. Some injured or ill victims, even those who desperately need care, may refuse care.  Parents may also refuse care for children.  Even though the victim may be seriously injured, his or her wishes must be honored.  It is best if someone else witnesses the victim’s refusal and documents it.  You don’t need consent to summons more highly trained Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personal.

Abandonment. Once care is initiated it must be continued until EMS personnel or someone with equal or greater training arrives and takes over, or the care giver is exhausted.

Maintaining Knowledge and Skills. First Aid knowledge and skill can dissipate from lack of use so it important to regularly review and practice first aid knowledge and skills.

Basic First Aid for Bicycle Traveler and Tours

In An Emergency

Patient Care: Illness

Patient Care: Injuries

Return to Education: Bicycle Safety and Health Index.


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The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of  four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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