Paramedics to reward local kids for helmet safety with launch of summer initiative

Cobourg, ON – May 27, 2014 – According to the Canada Safety Council, role models have the greatest impact on the perceptions and behaviours of others.1 Northumberland Paramedics are counting on this as they today launch a summer Helmet Safety Initiative. Throughout the months of June and July, paramedics will be handing out free passes to the YMCA Northumberland to local children spotted wearing their helmets while enjoying ‘activities on wheels’. Passes can be used at the YMCAs in both Cobourg and Trenton, as well as the community pool in Campbellford.

"We know that 85% of children’s head injuries can be prevented with a properly-fitted helmet," 2 stated Primary Care Paramedic Rebecca Thomas. "We felt we could help to tackle this issue and raise awareness by rewarding children practicing helmet safety. Hopefully these children will be role models for their peers. Northumberland Paramedics want children to have fun AND be safe this summer."

A law in Ontario requires that all people under the age of 18 wear a helmet when cycling, and 94% of parents say their children are compliant.3 Paramedics hope that this campaign will further increase usage by serving as a reminder of the importance of proper head protection when children are riding anything that moves faster than their feet can carry them. Surveys show that Canadians feel the best approach to increase helmet use is public information and awareness campaigns.4

"Our duties often take us out into the community, to events, information fairs, and even when we are returning to the base after being out on a call," stated Thomas. "If, during these outings, we come across children wearing their helmets, we will have certificates ready to provide to these safety leaders. We sincerely thank YMCA Northumberland for their support of this important effort."

Paramedics have organized the Helmet Safety Initiative as a volunteer activity coinciding with Paramedic Services Week, taking place across Canada May 25-31. For more information about the Helmet Safety Initiative, visit www.northumberlandcounty.ca/helmetsafety.

Sources

1: "Helmets: Attitudes and Actions", Canada Safety Council, July 2002, https://canadasafetycouncil.org/sports-active-living/helmets-attitudes-and-actions.

2: "A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets", New England Jour-nal of Medicine, 1989, vol. 320, No. 21, p1361-67.

3: "Helmets: Attitudes and Actions", Canada Safety Council.

4: "Helmets: Attitudes and Actions", Canada Safety Council.

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