For Immediate Release
May 5 , 2015
May 4-10 is Safe Kids Week
(LONDON, Ontario) –After a long winter, young cyclists are once again bringing life to parks, trails, sidewalks and city roads. In the Emergency Department at London Health Sciences Centre’s Children’s Hospital, this time of year represents the start of the Helmet Giveaway Program.
The Helmet Giveaway Program, co-sponsored by Children’s Health Foundation and the Helmets on Kids Community Partnership, outfits children and teens who come to the hospital with a wheeled-activity injury with a new fitted helmet. Not limited to cycling, children and teens injured on scooters, skateboards and rollerblades are also given a helmet.
“Helmets save lives and it is important for parents to remember that a helmet should be replaced after every collision, even if the child hasn’t hit their head” says Jane Harrington, injury prevention specialist, LHSC. “Apart from it being against the law for children to cycle without a helmet, their chance of sustaining a severe head injury without one is is greatly increased.”
Since April 1, 16 helmets have already been given away, and, since 2010, 1721 wheel-related injuries have presented in the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital, an average of 344 children a year.
“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,” continues Harrington.
The Helmets on Kids Community Partnership recommends replacing your helmet when:
- You are in a crash
- You drop it hard on the ground
- The straps loosen when you are wearing it
- It has a crack in it
- The foam is falling apart
- If it is too tight on your head
- It is five years old (even if it is in great shape)
About London Health Science Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 140 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, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 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
Children's Health Foundation
Children's Health Foundation is dedicated to raising and granting funds to support Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, Thames Valley Children's Centre and Children's Health Research Institute. Since 1922, funds raised have helped deliver exceptional care and support for children and their families by providing specialized paediatric care, equipment, education programs, therapy, rehabilitation services and research. Get to know how you can help save and improve kids' lives at www.childhealth.ca.
For media inquiries contact:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500 ext. 75155
After-hours and weekend assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call.
Visit the LHSC Media Room website at www.lhsc.on.ca/media.