Healing and helmets at LHSC’s Children’s Hospital

May 4-10 is Safe Kids Week

May 6, 2015

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)

 Nurse with Children's Hospital patient who is wearing a helmet