Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of 3 competing pediatric emergency department (ED) interventions aiming to increase sport helmet use in a state without helmet legislation. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted during the 7-month period between April and October 2003 at an urban pediatric ED in a state without current helmet legislation. We enrolled 200 assenting English-speaking children aged 5 to 16 years, admitted to the ED for treatment, and who did not currently own a helmet. Participants were randomized into 3 experimental arms. A control group received usual care, that is, verbal counseling regarding helmet use. Subjects in one treatment arm received a voucher to receive a free helmet that could be redeemed at a different location within the hospital. Subjects in a second treatment arm actually received a free helmet directly in the ED. The main outcome measure was reported helmet use at follow-up, assessed by telephone interviews of both the child and a parent. Results: Directly receiving a free helmet in the ED significantly increased reported helmet use relative to the control group; the odds that a parent reported helmet use were nearly 16 times higher (P < 0.01), and the odds that a child reported helmet use were nearly 10 times higher (P < 0.01). Receiving a free helmet also significantly increased reported helmet use when compared with the voucher intervention group. Reported use between the control group and the voucher intervention group was not significantly different. Conclusions: Directly receiving a free helmet in the pediatric ED appears to be an effective hospital-based strategy to increase pediatric helmet use.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Pediatric Emergency Care|
|State||Published - Nov 1 2005|