COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) will continue their Put a Lid on It! Bike Helmet Safety Awareness campaign with Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Week May 2-10, 2015 with a new partner: the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). With ODOT's assistance, the Ohio AAP will be able to donate 9,300 bike helmets to Ohio children this year. The statewide public awareness campaign's goal is to continue to encourage adults and children to wear their helmets.
The week will include activities for children of all ages, including bike rodeos, bike helmet safety lessons and giveaways, bike-to-school days, and public awareness activities. As part of the public awareness campaign, the Ohio AAP will be partnering with pediatricians, children's hospitals, law enforcement and schools to help host the many events planned.
Each year, the number of people injured by not wearing a bike helmet is 51,000, enough people to fill half of Ohio Stadium. Apart from the automobile, bicycles are tied to more childhood injuries than any other consumer product including trampolines, ladders and swimming pools.
"A $10 bike helmet saves the healthcare system $41 per child. If 85 percent of the children injured in the U.S. per year wore helmets, we could save up to $256 million in just one year," said Melissa Wervey Arnold, Executive Director for the Ohio AAP. "And, when you consider that one million of Ohio's three million children are reliant on Medicaid, this savings translates into keeping more money in taxpayer's pockets."
The statistics regarding bicycle helmets are staggering, but proven interventions exist. Various studies show that bike helmet legislation is effective in increasing bicycle helmet use and reducing bicycle-related death and injury among children covered under the law. One study showed that within the five years of passage of a state mandatory bicycle helmet law for children ages 13 and under, bicycle-related fatalities decreased by 60 percent.
A combination of efforts is necessary to effectively increase helmet usage rates among Ohio children including raising awareness of the benefits, encouraging modeling behavior among adults, distributing bike helmets to Ohio children and advocating for supportive public policies.
SOURCE The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics