The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has undertaken a statewide advocacy event to protect Ohio youth through bicycle helmets.
Riding bicycles for fun and sport has exploded in the past decade, and with that has been the increased risk of bodily harm. Broken arms and dislocated shoulders can be treated rather easily, but head injuries are something else. Experts agree that the most effective way to protect riders, especially the nation’s youth, is by wearing bicycle helmets.
One of the medical directors of the Put a Lid on It Program, Dr. Sarah Denny of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, commented, “It is estimated that 75 percent of bicycle-related fatalities among children could be prevented with a helmet, which is why we are working with community partners to raise awareness and prevent injury. Through comprehensive and collaborative efforts like those in the Findlay community, we are helping kids understand the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Just getting kids to wear helmets can prevent approximately 150 deaths and 40,000 head injuries annually.”
The official campaign ran from May 9 to May 16 of this year. With a facebook page, facebook.com/bikehelmetsafety, the word is getting out about safer recreation for our youth. “Like” the page and share it with friends. A social media hashtag (#bikehelmetsafety) is also underway. Bike safety days, t-shirt sales, monitoring the use of helmets in urban settings, and local area promotions help to teach rookie pedalers to learn the hazards, develop good safety habits and begin using the proper protective equipment when bicycling.
Hayley Southworth, development and program manager for the Ohio Chapter of AAP, serves as the primary contact for the campaign. She is aware of many organizations at the local level who have worked for a long time teaching bicycle safety. “Put a Lid on It, Findlay” can assist with providing helmets for this initiative.
For more information on how you can help, contact Hayley at hsouthworthohioaap.org or 614-846-6258.