Utah healthcare officials urge children to wear helmets this summer
Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital clinicians held an event at a skatepark in Lehi, Utah to give away free helmets to children and urge safety precautions.
Members from the trauma and safety teams at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital held an event on June 15, where they handed out free helmets for children at a Lehi, Utah skatepark and expressed the importance of helmet-wearing to prevent serious injuries this summer.
Dr. Katie Russell, University of Utah Health and Trauma Medical Director for Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, said it’s important to encourage children to wear a helmet anytime they ride anything from as simple as a scooter to something more complex, like a dirt-bike, to help prevent serious and potentially fatal injuries as kids become more active this summer.
“The summer is our busy trauma season, so we’re seeing trauma patients everyday, and head injuries are our most common trauma," Russell said. "We know for sure helmets could decrease those injuries or even totally prevent them.”
About 1,500 traumatic head injuries are treated at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital each year, and child trauma incidents typically rise in the summer months and peak in July due to kids and families spending more time being active outside. Russell said no matter how grown or strong a child is, they should always be wearing a helmet when they are riding something.
Jessica Strong, Community Health Director at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, said it’s not only important to make sure children wear a helmet, but that parents make sure the helmet is properly fitted to their heads. She recommended parents continuously check to see if the helmet is fitting their child throughout the summer as they rapidly grow.
“We always remind families to check the fit of their child’s helmet, even several times over the season to make sure as they’re growing that it fits properly," Strong said. "It’s as easy as the two finger rule. You want to make sure that there’s two fingers from their eyebrow to their helmet. You want a “V” over the child’s ear with the straps, and then you want to fit two fingers underneath the chin.”
The Intermountain West currently has the fourth-highest traumatic brain injury hospitalization rate in the country for children.