Purpose of Study Red Lodge is a unique mountain town that is bordered by a wide expanse of farm and ranch land. Horse-related activities, such as cattle drives, rodeo, 4H riding camps, and trail riding, are commonplace. After attending a 4H riding fair in which 75 young equestrian riders participated, it was noted that none of the riders wore a helmet. A community project was developed to introduce helmet safety awareness to children equestrian riders in Red Lodge.
Methods Interviews with local physicians, the public health administrator, horsemanship trainers, and the local 4H coordinator helped identify the reasons for low percentage of helmet use and create a realistic goal for introduction of helmet safety to the community. A literature search using PubMed and Google was conducted to identify the potential dangers of equestrian riding and benefits of riding with a helmet.
Results A pamphlet explaining the severity of risks of riding without a helmet, benefit of helmet use, and product purchase information was produced. The safety video Every Time, Every Ride was purchased. Safety pamphlets and film were given to the 4H supervisor to develop a helmet safety portion of the annual 3-day riding camp held in June. Pamphlets were also distributed to the Red Lodge Clinic and local horsemanship trainers for disbursement.
Conclusion The town of Red Lodge was receptive to helmet safety for children; however, this project is only a beginning step. The biggest impact of this project will occur when incorporated in the 4H riding camp in June 2006.
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