Even though kids are back in school and winter quickly approaching, plenty of kids are still outside enjoying ball games, hide-and-seek, and riding their bicycles. The safety of kids on bikes as the evening hours grow darker is always a concern, but whether it is the fall or the summer, head injuries for children is always a concern when they are riding bikes.
Focusing attention on this ongoing problem, Schwinn, a brand of Dorel Industries, launched a comprehensive national education campaign called “Helmets on Heads” this past week with a kick-off in New York City. This 10-year bike helmet safety program in association with the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation seeks to educate one million kids about bike helmet safety.
Helmets on Heads will launch with a national Public Service Announcement and a helmet fitting education tour stopping at six cities across the United States, including Austin, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, and New York City.
Schwinn Brand Ambassador and Olympic Gold Medalist Summer Sanders will join the tour to help properly fit kids with helmets. Helmets on Heads is scheduled to visit another 15 cities in 2013. The program will provide teachers, parents and caregivers with information and resources on the importance of helmet and bike safety.
Summer Sanders stopped by PS 41 (Greenwich Ave & Charles St.) on October 4th to help launch the Helmets on Heads campaign in New York City. Schools like PS 41 and others around the country will receive useful educational tools for parents, teachers and community leaders. Helmets On Heads is driven by a desire to have every rider, regardless of age or ability, wearing a helmet while bicycling.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010, 618 bicyclists were killed and 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes and nearly 70% involved head injuries. Bicycle helmets have been estimated to reduce the risk for head injuries by 85%. Despite these facts, only 25% of all bicyclists wear helmets.
Go to the official Helmets on Heads website (.helmetsonheads.org/) for additional information about the program and bike safety.
— Kevin Feather
 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Dept. of Transportation (US). Traffic safety facts 2010: bicyclists and other cyclists. Washington (DC): NHTSA; 2012 (cited 2012 June 26). Available from: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov.
 Thompson, R.S.; Rivara, F.P.; and Thompson, D.C. 1989. A case-control study of the effectiveness of bicycle safety helmets. New England Journal of Medicine 320:1361-67.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dept. of Health and Human Services (US). 2011. Body and mind. Hard facts about helmets (cited 2012 August 17). Available from http://www.bam.gov/sub_yoursafety/yoursafety_helmets.html.