Safety teams distribute helmets, urge safety precautions to avoid serious injury

LEHI, UT — Every day, children come to the hospital with traumatic injuries.

On Wednesday, Intermountain Elementary Child Safety and Trauma teams handed out helmets and helped fit them on children while urging them to take safety seriously. The goal is to try to prevent serious injuries this summer and in the future.

Katie Russell, a pediatric trauma surgeon and medical director of trauma at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, said summer was their busy season when it comes to head injuries. Reason being, many children are outside to participate in outdoor adventures and sports.

She said she has seen with her own eyes the difference wearing a helmet can make.

“It’s amazing. The helmet always comes with the patient, and when they wore the helmet, and you see the helmet like, exploded, you know the helmet did the job, and how it would have been the skull of the patient. “kid if he wasn’t wearing the helmet. I mean, those things really, really help prevent injuries, so we highly recommend it,” Russell said.

Whether it’s mountain biking, cycling or scooter competitions, 15-year-old Alex Homer spends a lot of time outdoors.

He also had his fair share of close calls.

“I had a few injuries where my helmet really saved me,” he said.

In particular, he shared a fairly recent incident.

“One of the cases, I was riding my scooter, and I had tried to do a spin – and I think I had tried to do a wheelie or something – and I had just fallen flat on my back and hitting my helmet so hard, it almost popped open. It really saved me all those times,” Homer said.

Russell said they try to get the kids to understand that wearing a helmet is “cool”. She said they are seeing progress, especially now that professional athletes are wearing them.

“If you watch skate videos, for example, these skaters are wearing helmets,” Russell said.

She said there are key things to remember to ensure your head is fully protected when wearing a helmet.

First of all, it is important to wear the helmet. Second, it’s important to make sure it fits snugly and isn’t too tight or too loose. She said a good rule of thumb is to see that your index finger can fit inside the helmet.

Finally, making sure to buckle the helmet is just as important as putting it on.

Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital said about 1,500 traumatic pediatric injuries are treated at the hospital each year. About 40% of these injuries are head injuries.

Additionally, the hospital said incidents of childhood trauma historically increase during the summer months and peak in July.

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Susan W. Lloyd