News

Bike & helmet contest a hit

Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, Summer 2010

A family that recently immigrated to Winnipeg from Nigeria is the big winner in the Winnipeg Health Region's Ride-to-Win contest.

The grand prize winner, Fathi Oladesi, won a new mountain bike, helmet and lock combo for himself and one for his father, Kabir. The contest was part of a larger effort to help promote the use of bike helmets to young riders, their parents and teachers. In conjunction with the contest, the Region launched a new interactive website - www.ride2win.ca - which offers information about safe cycling, including how to correctly wear a bike helmet.

Fathi won the contest by going online to answer three questions about the 2-V-1 rule which helps people to correctly fit their bike helmets. (A properly fitted helmet should have 2 fingers width between the eyebrows and the helmet, the straps should form a V around the ears and there should be room for one finger between the chin strap and the chin.)

"This year we offered a contest and a website with loads of activities to promote safe cycling in a fun way," says Shawn Feely, who headed up the website project for IMPACT, the Region's injury prevention program.

A recent observational study conducted by IMPACT underscores the need to raise awareness about bike helmets. The study concluded that nearly 60 per cent of Winnipeg cyclists do not wear a helmet and estimated that only 15 per cent of kids between the ages of 16 and 19 wear a helmet when cycling. The rate was slightly higher - 25 per cent - for children between the ages of 12 and 15. About two children are treated for bicycle-related injuries every day during summer months. On average, about one child dies each year as a result of a bike-related injury.

The provincial government has also been working to encourage young riders to use bike helmets. Since 2006, its low-cost helmet program has provided more than 62,000 helmets to families at a cost of $10 to $13 each. The program, in partnership with Kidsport, a national charity administered locally by Sport Manitoba, has also provided 5,000 free helmets to children of low-income families.

Wave

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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