Zeeland: one in six with a helmet
The Zeeland helmet campaign Coole kop, helm op (“A cool head wears a helmet”) has led to 16% of children from the first to the fourth Dutch [elementary] school classes wearing helmets
Prior to the campaign 27,385 bicycle helmets were handed out. To promote them, tens of thousands of handicraft kits, handouts, brochures, rucksacks and posters were distributed. Most schools featured a children’s theatre group to impress on children the benefits and necessity of wearing a bicycle helmet. Furthermore, a special book to be read out at primary schools was produced as well as a DVD for parent-teacher meetings. A few weeks after the helmets were handed out, the project’s mascot Coolie visited each school to see how many children were wearing them. The results were based on research conducted by the SWOV and VeiligheidNL on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment into the effects of the campaign. According to the results, it is not certain whether the campaign will have a lasting effect. At the start of the campaign in the 2010-2011 period, a baseline measurement showed 2 to 7 percent of children wearing helmets.
The young cyclists will be observed for 5 years, during which time it will be noted whether the number of children with brain injuries following a bike accident has diminished and if that is attributable to the wearing of helmets.