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Partnership Provides Bike Helmets to Douglass Students

Injury Free Coalition for Kids’ donation helps cycling become part of PE

Friday, June 02, 2006

Through the grapevine, Injury Free Coalition for Kids learned that students at Fredrick Douglass Preparatory School have 30 bicycles to use during physical education classes, but because they have no helmets they have been unable to use them. The Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong-based injury prevention organization delivered to the school 30 helmets bought using a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities Foundation.

“We’re thrilled we were able to help the school provide another form of safe exercise for their students,” said Lynn Cimpello, M.D., assistant professor at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong and co-director of the local Injury Free Coalition for Kids. “It was a simple thing for us to do and it will mean the world to the kids.”

Despite the fact that nearly 70 percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries, only about 20 to 25 percent of all bicyclists wear bicycle helmets, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. State law requires that all bicyclists age 1 through 13 are required to wear approved bicycle helmets when they are operators or passengers on bicycles. Child passengers 1 through 4 years old must wear approved bicycle helmets and ride in child safety seats. (Children under 1 year old are not allowed on bicycles – even in trailers.)

“By wearing helmets while riding at school, the children will not only be protecting themselves there, but it will reinforce the importance of wearing helmets while bicycling at home, too,” Cimpello said.

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