"We explained how the egg is like the head, the shell is like the skull, the white is like the fluid surrounding your brain, and the yolk is like the brain itself, protected by the rest," said Hopkins. "Then we showed what happens when you have a brain injury by dropping an unprotected egg."
Next, a gelatin brain mold was used to help children understand what a brain looks and feels like. Children also were asked to draw a clock showing a specified time on a piece of paper while looking only in a mirror held in front of them to simulate brain impairment that can result from a head injury.
One month following the program, 92.6 percent of the children who received the additional brain injury intervention reported wearing a helmet on every ride compared to 82.8 percent of those who received the abbreviated session. At three months, 96.2 percent who received the intervention were still wearing their helmets, while the other group dropped to 80 percent.
"Overall, 94 of the 120 children reported that they were still wearing helmets on every ride at three months out. So just giving the children a helmet and safety information while they were at the hospital made a huge difference," said Dr. Vernon A. Barnes, a physiologist in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Pediatrics at GHSU and corresponding author on the study. "But providing the additional intervention made an even stronger difference, because those children had higher retention rates at both one and three months."
Though parents were present during teaching, the study found them to be poor role models, with only 5 to 6 percent wearing a helmet on follow up. The CDC maintains
|Contact: Denise Parrish|
Georgia Health Sciences University