Buffalo County – Kearney Police Department officers will be passing out bicycle safety items to bicycle riders on Friday, September 17, at Meadowlark and Kenwood elementary schools before 8:00 am as part of the CHI/KPD “Serve and Protect the Noggin” campaign. CHI Health Good Samaritan is launching the new program to encourage the use of bike helmets.
“Serve and Protect the Noggin” is a community partnership designed to reward good safety practices. In the coming weeks, Kearney Police officers and Buffalo County Sheriff’s deputies will be on the lookout for young bicyclists wearing a helmet. They will randomly select 75 to receive a free T-shirt.
The high-visibility shirts feature a helmet-wearing Sam the Moose–the hospital’s mascot–and the slogan “I got caught…wearing my helmet.”
“I like to share the simple message ‘Use your head, wear a helmet.’ It really is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes,” says Tracy Dethlefs, injury prevention coordinator for Good Samaritan and the program’s creator.
Those modeling good behavior will also receive drawstring bags containing bike reflectors, stickers and additional safety tips.
The community outreach project was funded by a grant from Safe Kids.
Safe Kids reports more children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport. Helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent, yet only 45 percent of children 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet.
Last year, 434 third graders received a coupon for a free helmet provided by CHI Health Good Samaritan distributed and fitted at the The Bike Shed. This summer, Good Samaritan also provided and fit more than 100 new bike helmets to area youth. All helmets met current safety standards and were fitted by trained staff.