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Rewarding Safe Bikers: Helmet Initiative Returns

Nov 02, 2023Nov 02, 2023

Warm weather bringsthe return of many favorite outdoor activities such as riding bikes, scooters,roller skates, and skateboards. These activities are a great way to have funand stay active. However, these activities also involve a risk of injury.

That's why AspirusHealth and Safe Kids Marathon County partners are joining forces on the "HelmetHero" program to encourage kids to, "be your own hero by wearing a helmet."

"Children ages fivethrough 14 are seen in the emergency room for bike-related injuries more thanany other sport, yet less than half of children ages 14 and younger wearhelmets," says Amanda Tabin, Safe Kids and Injury Prevention Coordinator atAspirus Wausau Hospital. "Nearly half of children hospitalized for bike-relatedinjuries are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. Wearing a helmet foractivities like riding a bike can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries byup to 85 percent."

Safe Kids MarathonCounty partners, such as local heroes from the Wausau and Everest Metro PoliceDepartments, will keep an eye out for kids wearing a helmet when participatingin wheeled sports such as riding a bike or scooter. Kids spotted wearing a helmetwill be rewarded with a "Helmet Hero" coupon for one free small cake cone atany Briq's Soft Serve location. The Helmet Hero Program is sponsored by AspirusHealth, Safe Kids Marathon County and Briq's Soft Serve.

"We love to seecitizens and visitors outside using their bicycles to enjoy the outdoors, butwe also know that crashes happen with riders of all skills and abilities," saysLieutenant Nathan Cihlar with Wausau Police Department. "The Helmet HeroProgram is a good reminder and extra incentive for kids to wear a helmetwhenever venturing out for a ride."

"Our goal is toinspire and empower kids to make safe choices so they can prevent injuries andkeep enjoying their favorite activities all summer," says Tabin.

If cost is a barrierto obtaining a helmet, families are encouraged to follow Safe Kids MarathonCounty on Facebook ("We will be distributing free bike helmets at a few pop-up locations thissummer and posting details on our Facebook page a few days in advance of eachevent." Safe Kids is able to distribute free bike helmets thanks to fundingfrom the Aspirus Wausau Hospital Volunteers.

For more bicyclesafety tips, such as how to properly fit a helmet, visit