Middletown initiative offers free bike helmets at YMCA cookout on Friday

Posted at 7:26 AM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 07:48:06-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Atrium Medical Center is kicking off its bicycle safety program with a block party and cookout that's open to the public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.

The free cookout at the Atrium Family YMCA is for YMCA members, but there will also be a YMCA open house for current and new members and campus vendors with family-friendly activities. Middletown’s fire department and Atrium Medical Center’s trauma program will be at the block party conducting a bicycle helmet giveaway for block party attendees.

As part of its safety outreach throughout the city, the Middletown Division of Fire will be looking for whether children are wearing their helmets or not during summer months. Children who are wearing their helmets will be rewarded with a voucher for a free small ice cream cone.

Those seen not wearing their helmets will receive a voucher to pick up a free bicycle helmet while supplies last from Atrium Medical Center. Helmets will be available for pick-up at the hospital between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays by calling (513) 974-4713 to reach Ann Brock, Atrium’s trauma outreach coordinator and Warren County Safe Communities coordinator.

“The Middletown Division of Fire sees this as a very important program because we often respond to children who are injured in accidents where they were not wearing helmets, particularly in the summer months. Any way we can help encourage children to wear their helmets, the Middletown Division of Fire paramedics are extremely interested in assuring this occurs,” said Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli.

Bicycle helmets were donated to Warren County Safe Communities for this safety awareness effort.

“We want to make it fun and easy for children to practice good safety habits by wearing a helmet while riding bicycles, and are grateful to our partners for helping make this program possible,” Brock said.

A safer bicycle ride starts with a properly fitted helmet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to a helmet, those who receive vouchers and pick up helmets from Atrium Medical Center as part of this program in summer 2017 will also receive information from the Traffic Safety Administration about how to properly fit a bicycle helmet. Some bicycle crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and pay close attention on roadways to each other, according to the federal traffic safety agency.