February 1995

Barriers to Wearing Bicycle Safety Helmets in the Netherlands

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Health Education, University of Limburg, Maastricht (Mr Seijts, Dr Kok, and Ms Klip), and the Extramural Health Care Research (EMGO) Institute, Free University, Amsterdam (Dr Bouter), the Netherlands.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(2):174-180. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170140056009

Objective:  To explore behavioral factors that determine whether children (aged 7 to 13 years) wear bicycle safety helmets.

Design:  Cross-sectional survey.

Setting:  Three Dutch primary schools in Breda, Maastricht, and Terneuzen, the Netherlands.

Participants:  Two hundred fifty-nine children aged 7 to 13 years.

Intervention:  Wearing a bicycle safety helmet for 6 consecutive weeks.

Results:  Information about experiences with the bicycle safety helmet was gathered via questionnaires. Wearing a bicycle safety helmet was described as inconvenient, time-consuming, and uncomfortable. Children also perceived negative reactions from their social environment.

Conclusions:  Planned health promotion activities will be essential for the introduction of bicycle safety helmets to be successful. These activities should focus particularly on developing a comfortable bicycle safety helmet, creating facilities to store bicycle safety helmets, and changing negative social norms regarding wearing a bicycle safety helmet.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:174-180)