We ought to do better

It’s the start of trauma season and without a doubt there is more that we can do to keep our kids safe – one is ensuring they always wear a bicycle helmet. This week State Senator Shannon Jones has a challenge for parents and shares some opportunities to keep kids safer.

We Ought to do Better
Guest Blogger: State Senator Shannon Jones, Springboro

“I didn’t wear a helmet and I turned out just fine.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that from a fellow parent at the park. Now that we know more about the need for bike helmets, we ought to do better.

Statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) detail the thousands of injuries suffered by children every year that could have been prevented if they were just wearing a bike helmet. And these statistics are staggering.

Last year, more than 50,000 kids were injured while riding a bike without a helmet, ranging from scalp and face injuries to even death. In fact, next to automobiles, bicycles are tied to more childhood injuries than any other consumer product, including trampolines, ladders and swimming pools. But the vast majority of those injuries would never happen, if we would just insist that our kids wear a properly fitted bike helmet.

Amazingly, the AAP estimates that fewer than 20% of children in Ohio wear a helmet when they are on their bike, scooter, rollerblades or skateboard. Frankly, given what we know about safety, those numbers are unacceptable.

“Ohio Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Week” is May 6-10. To help promote the importance of bike helmet safety, I will be joining Dayton Children’s on two separate events on Saturday, May 11, to educate parents and children on the topic and provide free helmets. Helmets will be fitted by child safety experts at the Dayton Children’s Specialty Care Center near the Atrium Medical Center Middletown Campus (100 Campus Loop Rd., Franklin, OH 45005) from 9:00am-10:00am and from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm helmets will be fitted and distributed at the Franklin Public Library (44 E. 4th St., Franklin, OH 45005). The first 75 children ages 5-14 at each location will receive a free bicycle helmet properly fitted by one of Dayton Children’s staff. Experts will be available to answer questions and distribute information on the importance of bicycle helmet safety.

So yes, things are a little different these days, but parents are still the best role models for children. I encourage you to participate in Bicycle Helmet Safety Week this May and help our children by doing better than we did as kids.

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.