Community based programs promoting the use of bicycle helmets

Conclusion: Indications for effectiveness

Community-based education / advocacy programmes around child helmet wearing lead to increased helmet wearing

Recommendations (for research & practice)

  • Important elements of community-based approaches are long-term strategy, effective focused leadership, multi-agency collaboration, involvement of the local community, appropriate targeting and time to develop a range of local networks and programmes.
  • Programmes are more likely to be effective when they include provision of free helmets, are broad in scope as it relates to target audience and setting, involve parental participation and helmet wearing by riding partners (adults or other children).
  • Younger children and girls show the greatest effect from campaigns.
  • Successful interventions have included targeted and mass media education or children and parents, promotion and mandating of helmet wearing, seizure of bicycles of cyclists not wearing helmets and discounting the price of helmets, however it is not possible to isolate the effectiveness of each intervention

Review Date: 14/06/2007
Version: 1.0
Status: Provisional statement

This evidence statement is based on information of the Good Practice Guide of the Child Safety Alliance. In this document the 'Good Practice' and related statement are defined as:

1) A prevention strategy that has been evaluated and found to be effective (either through a systematic review or at least one rigorous evaluation) OR
2) A prevention strategy where rigorous evaluation is difficult but expert opinion supports the practice and data suggest it is an effective strategy (e.g., use of personal floatation devices (PFD) to prevent drowning) OR
3) A prevention strategy where rigorous evaluation is difficult but expert opinion supports the practice and there is a clear link between the strategy and reduced risk but a less clear link between the strategy and reduced injuries (e.g., secure storage of poisonings) AND
4) The strategy in question has been implemented in a real world setting so that the practicality of the intervention has also been examined.

Background documents

Child Safety Good Practice Guide : good investments in unintential child injury prevention and safety promotion (version 1)
M. MacKay, J. Vincenten, M. Brussoni, L. Towner ...[et al.] (2006)