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Rates of motorcycle helmet use and reasons for non-use among adults and children in Luang Prabang, Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Fong MC, Measelle JR, Dwyer JL, Taylor YK, Mobasser A, Strong TM, Werner S, Ouansavanh S, Mounmingkham A, Kasuavang M, Sittiphone D, Phoumesy K, Sysaythong K, Khantysavath K, Bounnaphone S, Vilaysom A, Touvachao S, Mounmeuangxam S, Souralay S, Lianosay B, Lia T, Spector JM - BMC Public Health (2015)

Bottom Line: When surveyed about attitudes towards helmet use, the majority of adult drivers indicated that they did not like how adult helmets feel or made them look.Additionally, almost half of motorcyclists who did not own child helmets reported that their child was too young to wear a helmet.Our finding that children wear helmets at significantly lower rates compared to adults is consistent with findings from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Lao Friends Hospital for Children, Luang Prabang, Lao, People's Democratic Republic. mfong@uoregon.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Motorcycles make up 81 % of the total vehicle population and 74 % of road traffic deaths in Lao PDR. Helmets reduce the risk and severity of injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents by 72 %. Although Lao law mandates motorcycle helmet use among drivers and passengers, the prevalence of helmet use in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR is unknown. This project aimed to measure the prevalence of motorcycle helmet use among riders (i.e., drivers and passengers) in Luang Prabang.

Methods: An observational survey in Luang Prabang was conducted in February 2015 to measure the prevalence of motorcycle helmet use among drivers and passengers. Additionally, non-helmet wearing riders were surveyed to identify the reasons for helmet non-use.

Results: Of 1632 motorcycle riders observed, only 16.2 % wore helmets. Approximately 29 % of adults wore helmets while less than 1 % of all children wore helmets. When surveyed about attitudes towards helmet use, the majority of adult drivers indicated that they did not like how adult helmets feel or made them look. Additionally, almost half of motorcyclists who did not own child helmets reported that their child was too young to wear a helmet.

Conclusions: Our finding that children wear helmets at significantly lower rates compared to adults is consistent with findings from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. Results of this study have implications for public health campaigns targeting helmet use, especially among children.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Lao educational poster to promote helmet use. This poster was developed at Lao Friends Hospital for Children in response to the findings of the current study. The main caption reads, “Remember your child’s motorbike helmet,” and the sub-caption reads, “A helmet will protect your child’s head in the event of an accident.” The elephant in the lower left hand corner of the poster, depicted wearing a helmet, is the hospital’s mascot
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Fig1: Lao educational poster to promote helmet use. This poster was developed at Lao Friends Hospital for Children in response to the findings of the current study. The main caption reads, “Remember your child’s motorbike helmet,” and the sub-caption reads, “A helmet will protect your child’s head in the event of an accident.” The elephant in the lower left hand corner of the poster, depicted wearing a helmet, is the hospital’s mascot

Mentions: We observed less than 1 % of all children wearing helmets. Our finding that children wear helmets at lower rates compared to adults is consistent with findings from neighboring Vietnam, where approximately 30 to 50 % of children wear motorcycle helmets and over 90 % of adults wear motorcycle helmets [9]. In the current study, the most common reasons reported by adults for children not wearing helmets were “my child is too young” and “my child refuses to wear the helmet”. Although a small percentage of respondents did not endorse the safety value of helmets for children, the combined set of reasons provided for why children were not wearing helmets contributed to an alarmingly high number of helmet-less children. These findings may help to inform future interventions to increase rates of helmet use. Specifically, interventions may benefit from conveying the importance of helmets for children [1], emphasizing that even young children should wear helmets. Additionally, given that two-thirds of adults in the sample did not wear helmets, interventions may need to stress the importance of adults as helmet-wearing role models for children. Based on these results, efforts are underway to develop public health messages aimed at patients seeking care at LFHC. Educational posters to promote helmet use were newly designed and now hang prominently in clinical care areas (see Fig. 1).


Rates of motorcycle helmet use and reasons for non-use among adults and children in Luang Prabang, Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Fong MC, Measelle JR, Dwyer JL, Taylor YK, Mobasser A, Strong TM, Werner S, Ouansavanh S, Mounmingkham A, Kasuavang M, Sittiphone D, Phoumesy K, Sysaythong K, Khantysavath K, Bounnaphone S, Vilaysom A, Touvachao S, Mounmeuangxam S, Souralay S, Lianosay B, Lia T, Spector JM - BMC Public Health (2015)

Lao educational poster to promote helmet use. This poster was developed at Lao Friends Hospital for Children in response to the findings of the current study. The main caption reads, “Remember your child’s motorbike helmet,” and the sub-caption reads, “A helmet will protect your child’s head in the event of an accident.” The elephant in the lower left hand corner of the poster, depicted wearing a helmet, is the hospital’s mascot
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4584470&req=5

Fig1: Lao educational poster to promote helmet use. This poster was developed at Lao Friends Hospital for Children in response to the findings of the current study. The main caption reads, “Remember your child’s motorbike helmet,” and the sub-caption reads, “A helmet will protect your child’s head in the event of an accident.” The elephant in the lower left hand corner of the poster, depicted wearing a helmet, is the hospital’s mascot
Mentions: We observed less than 1 % of all children wearing helmets. Our finding that children wear helmets at lower rates compared to adults is consistent with findings from neighboring Vietnam, where approximately 30 to 50 % of children wear motorcycle helmets and over 90 % of adults wear motorcycle helmets [9]. In the current study, the most common reasons reported by adults for children not wearing helmets were “my child is too young” and “my child refuses to wear the helmet”. Although a small percentage of respondents did not endorse the safety value of helmets for children, the combined set of reasons provided for why children were not wearing helmets contributed to an alarmingly high number of helmet-less children. These findings may help to inform future interventions to increase rates of helmet use. Specifically, interventions may benefit from conveying the importance of helmets for children [1], emphasizing that even young children should wear helmets. Additionally, given that two-thirds of adults in the sample did not wear helmets, interventions may need to stress the importance of adults as helmet-wearing role models for children. Based on these results, efforts are underway to develop public health messages aimed at patients seeking care at LFHC. Educational posters to promote helmet use were newly designed and now hang prominently in clinical care areas (see Fig. 1).

Bottom Line: When surveyed about attitudes towards helmet use, the majority of adult drivers indicated that they did not like how adult helmets feel or made them look.Additionally, almost half of motorcyclists who did not own child helmets reported that their child was too young to wear a helmet.Our finding that children wear helmets at significantly lower rates compared to adults is consistent with findings from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Lao Friends Hospital for Children, Luang Prabang, Lao, People's Democratic Republic. mfong@uoregon.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: Motorcycles make up 81 % of the total vehicle population and 74 % of road traffic deaths in Lao PDR. Helmets reduce the risk and severity of injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents by 72 %. Although Lao law mandates motorcycle helmet use among drivers and passengers, the prevalence of helmet use in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR is unknown. This project aimed to measure the prevalence of motorcycle helmet use among riders (i.e., drivers and passengers) in Luang Prabang.

Methods: An observational survey in Luang Prabang was conducted in February 2015 to measure the prevalence of motorcycle helmet use among drivers and passengers. Additionally, non-helmet wearing riders were surveyed to identify the reasons for helmet non-use.

Results: Of 1632 motorcycle riders observed, only 16.2 % wore helmets. Approximately 29 % of adults wore helmets while less than 1 % of all children wore helmets. When surveyed about attitudes towards helmet use, the majority of adult drivers indicated that they did not like how adult helmets feel or made them look. Additionally, almost half of motorcyclists who did not own child helmets reported that their child was too young to wear a helmet.

Conclusions: Our finding that children wear helmets at significantly lower rates compared to adults is consistent with findings from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. Results of this study have implications for public health campaigns targeting helmet use, especially among children.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus