The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Bicycle Fun and Safety Day offers tips to help keep kids safe on wheels

WHITBY, ON May 19, 2015

Durham Region Health Department, in collaboration with Durham Safety on Wheels Coalition, encourages area residents to always practice safe cycling and helmet safety whether in-line skating, when or riding a bike, scooter or skateboarding. Residents are invited to learn more at the annual Durham Bicycle Fun and Safety Day, May 23, noon to 3 p.m. at Kids Safety Village of Durham, 1129 Athol St., Whitby.

Health Department staff, along with members of the coalition, will be on-hand to help educate parents on proper helmet fitting techniques. Other highlights include bike and gear inspections, educational sessions on cycling safety skills, jumping castles and face painting. Participants will also have an opportunity to be entered into a draw for prizes including, new bicycles and coupons towards the purchase of new helmets.

According to a 2013 Health Department survey, the rate of helmet use is high among children five to 12-years old; however, as children grow into their teenage years, the rate of helmet use decreases. “The goal of this campaign is to encourage young children to develop the habit of wearing their helmets properly at all times when cycling,” explained Yemisi Aladesua, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “We hope that developing this habit in the early years will result in continued helmet use throughout adulthood, as wearing a helmet is essential when cycling or participating in other wheeled activities to help reduce injury.”

A 2012 Safe Kids Canada report found that helmets, when worn properly, can reduce the risks of brain injury by 88 per cent, head injuries by 85 per cent and upper and mid-facial injury by 65 per cent.

“About 75 per cent of all cycling deaths involve head injuries,” added Ms. Aladesua. “This is why it’s so important for parents and caregivers to ensure that children not only wear a helmet, but learn how to wear one properly. The Bicycle Fun and Safety Day is a great opportunity for parents to join their children to both learn about and help reinforce important safety skills. It’s also important that parents wear helmets themselves; kids learn best by observing their parents and parents are their child’s best role model.”

For more information and to request a free copy of the “Protect your head…wear a helmet!” brochure, contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.