Attitudes toward bicycle helmet ownership and use by school-age children

Am J Dis Child. 1990 Jan;144(1):83-6. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150250093041.


To identify attitudes toward bicycle helmet ownership and use, questionnaires were sent to parents of 2178 third-graders; 1057 (48.5%) returned valid responses. Of 931 children who had bicycles, 24% owned helmets, but only 56% of children who owned helmets wore them. Helmet ownership, but not use, was associated with higher parental education. Fifty-one percent of 704 parents of bicycle owners who had not purchased helmets said they had never thought of it, 29% thought helmets were too costly, and 20% felt their children would not wear them. Of 792 children who did not wear helmets, 25% said they did not wear them because their friends did not; 22% never thought about wearing helmets; and 16% found them uncomfortable. Efforts to increase the wearing of helmets should address helmet design, awareness, peer pressure, and cost.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Bicycling*
  • Child
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Protective Devices*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Washington