Eric Murray " Helmet drive aims to protect Grand County youth
May 17, 2009
Every other spring since 2005, local physician assistant Dianne Wettersten has organized The Grand Helmet Drive with the objective of protecting children’s heads before they start riding their bikes and skateboards for the summer.
“The goal is to put a bicycle helmet on every child bicycle rider in Grand County,” Dianne said. She was motivated to organize this safety effort after noticing that too few children wore helmets while riding bicycles.
“I have spent many years working in emergency rooms and have seen firsthand what can happen to riders who don’t wear helmets,” she said.
Bicycle accidents are the leading cause of accidental death and injury in children.
“It’s a fact,” says Wettersten, “75 percent of serious bike injuries are head injuries and as high as 85 percent of bicyclist’s brain injuries could have been prevented by a helmet.”
With a drive to prevent the often debilitating and sometimes deadly head injuries of children, Dianne has sought and attained funding from a number of local organizations. With these funds she purchased high quality, adjustable Bell helmets through an organization called Safe Kids Worldwide.
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Thanks to the generosity of such organizations as the Middle Park Medical Foundation, Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails, the Winter Park Sheriff’s Department, the District Health Advisory Council and others, Dianne is able to offer helmets for a mere $5 for the bicycle helmet and $8 for a multi-use helmet ” normally ranging in retail price between $20 and $30.
“I want parents to be able to afford protection for their children, especially in this economy,” Dianne says.
There are also a certain number of helmets reserved to give to those who are not able to afford anything right now. If this is the case, parents are encouraged to approach the distribution table and simply let a volunteer know.
Children who have received helmets from the Grand County Helmet Drive two years ago are encouraged to purchase new helmets as, “children’s heads tend to grow in a couple of years.”
“I feel this is a serious cause with a very simple solution that just needs to be implemented.”
Many helmets have already been distributed through schools. Grand Helmet will not be in Kremmling this year as it is believed most children already have helmets through other recent efforts. Those who still have the need for a helmet are encourage to call and make arrangements to have the helmet delivered.
For more information or to volunteer assistance contact Dianne Wettersten at Timberline Family Practice: 887-1216.
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