The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

Reduce injuries this season by wearing a helmet when on wheels

WHITBY, ON May 19, 2016 - Durham Region Health Department, in collaboration with the Durham Safety on Wheels Coalition, encourages area residents to always practise safe cycling and helmet safety whether in-line skating, riding a bike, or when on a scooter or skateboarding. Residents are invited to learn more at the annual Durham Bicycle Fun and Safety Day, May 28, noon to 3 p.m., at Kids Safety Village of Durham Region, 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 helmets.

In addition to the Safety Day event, the Health Department is also encouraging local students who are taking part in Bike to School Week, May 30 to June 3, to wear their helmets as they roll to school.

According to a 2013 Health Department survey, the highest rate of sports injury-related ER visits and hospitalizations occur amongst youth 10 to 19-years old. “We hope 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 believe that developing this habit in the early years will result in continued helmet use throughout adulthood, as wearing a helmet is essential in helping to reduce injury when cycling or participating in other wheeled activities.”

A 2013 Parachute Canada report found that, when worn properly, helmets can help to 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. “Bicycle-related head injuries can be greatly reduced for all ages with the proper use of helmets,” added Ms. Aladesua.

According to the Health Department, three adults in Durham visit the ER daily due to cycling-related injuries, while nine youth, 10 to 19-years old, visit the ER daily due to sports-related injuries.

“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,” said Ms. Aladesua. “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, or visit durham.ca.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or glendene.collins@durham.ca

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

For more information, please contact Health Department.