IUEM has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Central Indiana Bicycling Association (https://www.cibaride.org/) and this year was no different! We stayed busy at several volunteer opportunities to make children safer and parents more educated about helmet and bike safety in Indianapolis. Assisted by grants that CIBA acquired we managed to hand out thousands of helmets to protect the gourds, noggins, or craniums of many Indy youth.
On April 30th, our volunteers and partners handed out 2,750 helmets at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Each kid’s head was measured and then trained volunteers adjusted the helmets to ensure a good fit. We had a good 30 some volunteers representing IU Emergency medicine and Pediatric residencies, nursing staff from Methodist Emergency department, Indianapolis Metro Police Department, and of course, CIBA to make the event a success.
We hope all the kids had a very active and safe summer with their new shiny helmets!
Our next event was the Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival on July 8 where we again fitted and provided a large number of bike helmets for Indy kids with CIBA. What a fun event, held right in the heart of downtown on the circle! (http://www.indycrit.org/festival)
In the process of volunteering we also got to cheer on one of our Riley Pediatric Emergency Dept. attending physicians, Greg Faris. IU held their own in the racing of the Indiana Pacer bike-share bikes, the yellow ones you see downtown meant for more casual cruising. Alas, victory was just out of reach. However, we were certainly pleased with the knowledge that hundreds of children would have a safer summer for the volunteer work we were able to provide.
We look forward to being involved again next year and maybe seeing IU bring home a win on the cruisers!
If you are interested in knowing whether your bike helmet is fitted correctly, check out this quick 30 second tutorial. We found that lots of helmets put on by the kids or parents left much of the forehead unprotected.
And if you are on the fence about whether helmets are worthwhile, take a look at some literature from 1994 …
“Wearing a helmet reduced the risk of head injury by 63% (95% confidence interval 34% to 80%) and of loss of consciousness by 86% (62% to 95%).”
Effectiveness of bicycle helmets in preventing head injury in children: case-control study
BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6922.173 (Published 15 January 1994)