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Journal Article


Carter KA, Brewer KL, Garrison HG. N. Carol. Med. J. 2007; 68(4): 225-230.


Department of Emergency Medicine of the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, USA.


(Copyright © 2007, Medical Society of the State of North Carolina)






BACKGROUND: One in 3 bicyclists killed in North Carolina is under the age of 16. Since enactment of a mandatory bicycle helmet law for children in 2001, there has been no observed increase in helmet use in North Carolina. The goal of this study was to assess perceptions of helmet effectiveness and the level ofawareness of the North Carolina bicycle helmet law. METHODS: A written survey was distributed to parents, physicians, teachers, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel throughout Pitt County, North Carolina, to ask their knowledge of the bicycle helmet law, the frequency of their helmet use, their perceptions of the effectiveness of helmets, their opinions of who should be providing education about bicycle helmets, and their knowledge ofpr oper bicycle helmet use. RESULTS: The survey response rate was 72% (n=43). Seventy-five percent of teachers and EMS personnel, 69% ofparents, and 580% of physicians were aware of the North Carolina helmet law. Nineteen percent of parents responded that their children wore helmets "always", 1% answered "often", and 18% answered "never". The effectiveness of helmets in preventing head injuries was underestimated by many respondents with 49% estimating 50%-75% effectiveness. LIMITATIONS: This survey was distributed only in Pitt County and does not reflect helmet awareness for the state as a whole. CONCLUSIONS: The majority ofparents, teachers, physicians, and EMS personnel in Pitt County, North Carolina, are aware of the mandatory bicycle helmet law for children. Enforcement of and education about the bicycle helmet law should be increased .

Language: en


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