For Immediate Release:
May 2, 2012
Children’s Hospital’s bicycle helmet giveaway program
(LONDON, Ontario) – Spring brings warmer weather and the opportunity for more outside activity such as cycling. Unfortunately, cycling injuries are still common and the severity of injury increases for youngsters not wearing a helmet.
Staff and physicians of the Trauma Program and Emergency Department at LHSC’s Children’s Hospital know that without a helmet, the chance of sustaining a severe head injury is greatly increased. To promote bicycle safety, the hospital’s bicycle helmet giveaway program outfits children and teens who come to the hospital with a cycling-related injury with a new fitted helmet.
"Our goal is to decrease the number of head injuries and the severity of these injuries,” says Jane Harrington, Injury Prevention Specialist, Trauma Program. “In addition to offering children a helmet, we also provide kids with injury prevention education on bicycle safety and proper helmet fitting.”
How big of a problem are bike and head injuries in London?
In 2011 the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital treated 330 children (age<18) for bicycle-related injuries.
Only 40 per cent of youth who come to our Emergency Department were confirmed to be wearing a helmet at the time of their injury.
- Severely injured kids treated at Children’s Hospital who were wearing helmets had fewer head injuries and improved outcomes, including fewer days in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and were able to function more independently on discharge from hospital.
The hospital will follow up with patients to evaluate the effectiveness of the helmet giveaway program to see if there has been an increase in helmet use and bicycle safety knowledge.
“Our vision at LHSC is to provide excellent patient care, improve the patient and family experience, and engage in collaborative partnerships,” says Bonnie Adamson, LHSC President and CEO. “The bicycle helmet giveaway program is an excellent example of how we collaborate with our community to prevent injury and improve patient outcomes.”
The bicycle helmet giveaway program, now in its third year, is co-sponsored by the Children’s Health Foundation and Helmets on Kids Partnership.
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 137 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
For media inquiries contact:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
(519) 685-8500 ext. 75947