Farm youth and horse-related injuries: A case for safety helmets

Deborah B. Reed, Scott P. Novak, Robin L. Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Horses are found on many farms and are used by children and youth for recreation and farm work. This presence increases exposure to activities that carry inherent risks for injuries from bites, kicks, and falls from horses. This paper advocates the use of safety helmets as a passive measure to prevent severe injuries, such as head trauma, that result from horse-related incidents. We use data drawn from members of eight 4-H horse clubs in Kentucky to explore possible explanations for low rates of helmet use. The results are compared with findings from existing literature, and intervention strategies for increasing use of safety-approved equestrian helmets are outlined. We suggest that the participant's risk perception involved in assessing the dangers for any given riding activity correlates with the person's view of helmet use. Further, helmet use is not only a function of risk perception associated with the riding activity, but the negative stereotypical image of helmets as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • Children
  • Horses
  • Injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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