The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Management (KCDC) said Sunday that only 3 percent of children aged from three to 18 wear helmets while riding bicycles, according to a survey conducted from 2005 to 2008.
The survey said 2.4 percent of children from 3 to 11 years old wore protective helmets in 2007 and 3.2 percent did so in 2008.
In 2008, bicycle accidents accounted for 14 percent of traffic accident victims with 46 percent of them being under 20 years old.
In the United States, the helmet-wearing rate was 3.8 percent in 1991, but education and guidance campaigns raised the rate to 14.9 percent in 2007.
The KCDC suggested wearing fitted helmets, and avoiding bicycling under the influence of alcohol as good ways to ensure safe bike riding.
"It is necessary to wear bicycle helmets to prevent possible injury. Parents and teachers should educate children to wear helmets," a KCDC official said. Bicycles are becoming popular nationwide, with President Lee Myung-bak leading the way for its strengthes of promoting health and saving energy.