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.