“Helmet Day” discounts tomorrow at 24 participating retailers
Ottawa – Tomorrow is “Helmet Day” and to raise awareness of the importance of wearing a helmet, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is marking this day by collaborating with 24 local retailers, who will be offering one-day discounts on helmets to customers at 46 retail locations across the city.
“A helmet is an essential piece of cycling equipment that can reduce the chance of a head injury by as much as 85 per cent. My helmet lives with my bike. They go everywhere together! Every year, approximately 5,700 children and youth under the age of 20 visit Ottawa emergency rooms for head injuries and of these, 400 are hospitalized,” said Board of Health Member Councillor David Chernushenko. “We are proud to be partnering, for the first time, with retailers to help increase the accessibility of this very important piece of protective gear.”
Kunstadt Sports is one of the 24 retailers offering discounts for Helmet Day. “We like to promote cycling not only for health benefits but also for transportation,” said Kunstadt Sports owner, Eric Kunstadt. “We want to make it easier for people to participate in cycling and make it a fun and a safe activity.” Kunstadt Sports is offering a 30 per cent discount on helmets at their three Ottawa locations.
Mark White, an avid cyclist and survivor of a 2009 hit and run collision expressed a need for more parents to do their part in promoting helmet safety: “It is up to us to be role models for safe and active living. For a child, it sends a confusing message when they must wear a helmet for their safety, but parents do not. My helmet saved my life and I would like to be a part of creating change by promoting how important it is to wear a helmet.”
Before buying a helmet, ensure that you are purchasing the proper style of helmet for the sport you are engaging in and use the 2V1 rule:
2: Ensure your helmet sits level and square on your head, and the front is two fingers distance from the helmet to eyebrows.
V: Adjust the straps to meet just below the ear in a V shape, and fasten comfortably.
1: Allow only one finger to fit between the chin strap and the chin, so your helmet fits snug.
In Ontario, bicycle helmets must be worn by all cyclists who are under the age of 18 – it is the law. OPH recommends that all residents wear helmets to protect themselves from serious injury.
“Helmets save lives. As well, the potential of a neurological disability is very high when an un-helmeted head hits the pavement,” states Dr. Michael Vassilyadi, Director of Think First Ottawa Chapter. “Wearing a properly fitted helmet, while engaged in summer activities, such as cycling, skateboarding and rollerblading, is the best investment you can make in protecting your brain.”
For more information on Ottawa Helmet Day discounts visit: www.adoptahelmet.com
For more information about choosing and using the correct helmet, please visit ottawa.ca/health or call 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth).