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Does promoting bicycle‐helmet wearing reduce childhood head injuries?

Céline Farley (PhD is the Coordinator of Continuing Education at the Institut National de Santé Publique, Montréal, Québec, Canada. E‐mail: celine.farley@inspq.qc.ca.)
Marjan Vaez (MSc is a Statistician, Department of Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.)
Lucie Laflamme (PhD is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 1 October 2004

Abstract

The objectives of the study are to assess the impact of a community‐based bicycle‐helmet program aimed at children aged 5–12 years (about 140,000). A quasi‐experimental design, including a control group, was used. Sex‐ and age‐group‐based changes in the risk of bicycle‐related head injury leading to hospitalisation were measured, using rate ratios. Compared with the pre‐program period, significant risk reductions were observed during the post‐program period among both boys (RR = 0.56, 95 per cent CI = 0.40, 0.77) and girls (RR = 0.52, 95 per cent CI = 0.33, 0.82), and among both younger (RR = 0.46, 95 per cent CI = 0.31, 0.68) and older (RR = 0.63, 95 per cent CI = 0.44, 0.89) children. A significant reduction was also observable during the program phase among the groups most at risk, i.e. boys (RR = 0.94, 95 per cent CI = 0.66, 1.35) and younger children (RR = 1.07, 95 per cent CI = 0.70, 1.63). The population‐based educational program significantly decreased the risk of head injuries among boys and girls despite observable differences in the voluntary adoption rate of bicycle‐helmet wearing. The impact was more pronounced among younger children.

Keywords

Citation

Farley, C., Vaez, M. and Laflamme, L. (2004), "Does promoting bicycle‐helmet wearing reduce childhood head injuries?", Health Education, Vol. 104 No. 5, pp. 290-303. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280410560541

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Authors