With coconuts, rubber brains and skull molds in hand, a team of University Hospital doctors and nurses are taking schools by storm. On behalf of the Helmet Heads organization, the group visited Fletcher Community, Paris, Crawford and Montview elementary schools to educate second grade students about the importance of wearing helmets while on bicycles, skateboards, scooters and so forth.
Helmet Heads was established five years ago in response to the perpetual, yet preventable, child head trauma cases seen in emergency rooms.
“We’re trying to change second-grade students’ healthy behaviors at an age where it’s going to stick and hopefully last for a lifetime,” said Helmet Heads President Dr. Bruce Evans. “If you catch kids early while they’re still impressionable, they’re more likely to wear their helmets more often.”
The team of medical staff delivered engaging presentations using coconuts, fake brains and skulls to demonstrate the effects of blunt head trauma when people wear helmets and when they don’t. The kids also enjoyed action-packed sports clips and agreed that if football players, race car drivers and hockey players wear helmets, helmets are definitely cool.
As if the presentations weren't exciting enough, the doctors also gave every second grade student a helmet to take home.
“About 95% of these kids don’t own helmets before contact with this program,” said Evans. “Every year, I get at least one kid who asks, “When do I have to bring my helmet back?” It just touches my heart and gives me so much joy when I get to tell them, “It’s yours to keep.”
“I would love to know that we saved at least one kid from a serious injury,” Evans adds.
Interested in having Helmet Heads visit your Title I school? Visit helmetheads.org!