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Inpatient brain injury education increases bike helmet use, study finds
Date:11/8/2012

that children are more likely to wear helmets if their parents do.

Since no previous studies have evaluated the efficacy of head injury prevention with the education of hospitalized children and their caregivers, Barnes said he would like to see other children's hospitals try the program with their patients. The next step will be to ascertain the best teaching model, including evaluating the program in the pediatric outpatient clinics.

"Pediatrics is all about illness and injury prevention, so it makes sense to discuss these things during routine health assessments," said Dr. Alice Little Caldwell, a Children's Medical Center pediatrician who also contributed to the study. "When I take the time with my patients to explain these kinds of things, I think it's very meaningful."

Enlisting health care providers to promote helmet-wearing, not just in our children's hospital, but across the nation, could significantly reduce the number of head injuries in children as a result of bicycle accidents, Barnes said.

A reduction in injuries means a reduction in health care costs as well.

Hopkins, who often provides free helmets to children through Safe Kids initiatives, said that a standard helmet costs about $15. The societal costs associated with bicycle-related head injury or death resulting from head injury is more than $3 billion annually, according to the CDC. Safe Kids USA estimates that a 25 percent reduction in childhood bicycle injuries and deaths could save over $500 million in medical costs and productivity lost.

"While cost is important, it's preventing injuries and saving lives that matters most," said Hopkins.


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Contact: Denise Parrish
mparrish@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-9566
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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