Press Releases


May 28, 2010

Focus on Bike Helmets for Safe Kids Week, May 31 - June 4

Kids' Interactive Website Launched To Encourage Correct Helmet Use

A successful, low-cost helmet program has been joined by a new, interactive website, Ride2Win.ca, to promote increased use of helmets as part of Safe Kids Week 2010.

The Manitoba government and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority highlighted both initiatives together at a special event at Heritage School this morning where students learned how to properly fit themselves and others for bike helmets.

"We want young Manitobans to experience the independence and happiness of cycling and our low-cost helmet program helps them stay safe while exploring the neighbourhood on two wheels," said Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau.

Staying safe while on wheels is also the focus behind the launch of Ride2Win.ca, a new website that directly promotes greater helmet use to Winnipeg students. Endorsed by Winnipegborn Olympic speed skating and cycling phenomenon Clara Hughes, the site includes a wealth of information about the correct fitting and use of bike helmets. A quiz gives kids the opportunity to win a new bike and helmet for themselves and a parent while learning more about helmet use and safety. An additional prize is available for effective classroom promotion of bike helmet safety.

"Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 per cent, and the risk of brain injury by up to 88 per cent," says Dr. Lynne Warda, medical director of IMPACT, the Winnipeg Health Region's Injury Prevention Program. "We have developed Ride2Win.ca to provide children and teachers with a fun and informative resource that stresses the increased use of bike helmets as an important means for reducing injuries related to wheeled recreational activities like cycling."

This morning's event kicked off Manitoba's proclamation of Safe Kids Week, May 31 to June 5 with this year's focus to encourage young people to wear helmets and take other precautions to prevent bike-related injuries.

The provincial government continues to support bike safety through its low-cost helmet program, now in its fifth year. This year, over 630 schools and early learning child-care centres ordered over 10,000 helmets through the program. Since it began, Manitoba has provided over 62,000 helmets to children and just over 5,000 of these being free helmets that have gone to children from low-income families.

Rondeau says the province invests $40,000 annually in its low-cost helmet program. "Manitoba's investment in this program helps kids protect themselves from injury, while building a lifelong love of cycling and physical activity."

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