Helmet Use Amongst Equestrians: Harnessing Social and Attitudinal Factors Revealed in Online Forums
INTRODUCTION The number of head injuries from skiing and snowboarding accidents is increasing among adolescents. Ski helmets reduce the risk of head injury. This study explored adolescent attitudes regarding helmet use. METHODS This pilot study included 11 high school students participating in a 1-hour focus group. RESULTS There was agreement that head injury is unlikely compared to other injuries, and use of helmets is determined by level of difficulty of the activity. Peer use makes personal use more acceptable and likely. Helmet cost is a minor barrier. Personal experience with a head injury increases use. Mandatory helmet use was viewed positively by most of the subjects. CONCLUSIONS This pilot study suggests that, similar to bicycle helmet promotion programs, ski and snowboard helmet campaigns should focus on delivering a positive image of helmet use and peer acceptance.