Children ‘egged-on’ to wear helmets

16.33 | 18 February 2011 | | 1 comment

As part of a new scheme from the Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust (BHIT), primary school children across the country will learn about the importance of wearing a helmet when cycling.

The recently launched ‘HeadFirst’ scheme for six to eight year olds shows how a helmet can reduce head injury severity. This is demonstrated to the children by using raw eggs and a specially designed egg-sized helmet.

The BHIT has also designed a ‘HeadStart’ scheme and a ‘HeadSmart’ scheme for 9 to 11 year olds and 12 to 14 year olds respectively.

Angela Lee, chief executive of the BHIT, said: “We have designed three programmes to target the different age groups as we recognised that we cannot reach all age groups with the same message.

“We found a lot of older children are concerned about their image, whereas younger children simply don’t understand what brain injury means and the effects that it could have on everyday life should the worst happen.

“We have tried to make the programmes fun and interactive yet informative. We hope to see many more people out on their bikes, and most importantly wearing their helmets.”

GEM Motoring Assist is supporting the BHIT schemes.

David Williams, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, said: “I have nothing but praise for the work that the BHIT has put into these programmes.

“The importance of safe cycling is a subject that is not stressed enough and the simple matter of wearing a cycle helmet could literally make all the difference should someone to be involved in an accident.”

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    Despite agreeing with the Advertising Standards Authority not to use the disproved 85% figure for the prevention of deaths and injuries atributable to cycle helmets, BIHT still use it. Unfortunately, the ASA’s remit isn’t wide enough to cover everything published.

    What will the children do when they find out that the adults have been lying to them? They might just decide that all adults telling them about road safety are doing the same, and behave accordingly.

    Richard Burton, Bristol
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