Changing the Culture: Improving Helmet Utilization to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injury

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BACKGROUND: Several groups have instituted helmet initiatives with varying success across the world. Helmet use has been well documented to prevent traumatic brain injury. Despite the known benefits, many people, including university students, refuse to utilize helmets when riding bikes, mopeds, or motorcycles. We recognized a need within our community regarding the lack of helmet use at University of Florida and developed a program to institute change. METHODOLOGY: We identified community champions and hosted weekly round table discussion initiatives. Through these round table discussions we identified events already going on within the community and developed new opportunities to promote helmet use. We had stories from survivors and parents, utilized school administration support, and partnered with local bike shops. RESULTS: The pilot initiative was successful in increasing awareness across the city and got stakeholders excited in the process. It also spearheaded more data driven initiatives that will look at reduction of traumatic brain injuries in the clinical setting. CONCLUSION: This project highlights the University of Florida Helmet Initiative that has already generated renewed interest in safety and traumatic brain injury prevention. The school of nursing has implemented safety protocols and further support is being garnered by the administration across campus. Most importantly we have identified community champions that will carry the work forward.

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