Safety teams hand out helmets, urge safety precautions to prevent serious injury

Jun 15, 2022, 11:55 AM | Updated: 10:20 pm

LEHI, Utah — Every single day, kids go to the hospital with traumatic injuries.

On Wednesday, Intermountain Primary Children’s Safety and Trauma teams gave away helmets and helped fit them on children while urging them to take safety seriously. The goal is to try and prevent serious injury this summer and in the future.

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

She said she has seen firsthand the difference wearing a helmet can make.

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

From racing competitively on a mountain bike, bicycling, and riding a scooter, 15-year-old Alex Homer spends a lot of time outside.

He’s also had his fair share of close calls.

“Had a couple injuries where my helmet’s really saved me,” he said.

In particular, he shared one fairly recent incident.

“One of the cases, I was riding my scooter around, and I had tried to do a trick — and I think I had tried to do a wheelie or something — and I had just fallen flat on my back and hit my helmet so hard, it nearly cracked open. It’s really saved me all these times,” Homer said.

Russell said they’re trying to reinforce to kids that wearing a helmet is “cool.” She said they’re seeing progress, especially now that pro athletes wear them.

“If you watch skate videos, like, those skaters have helmets on,” Russell said.

She said there are key takeaways to making sure your head is fully protected when wearing a helmet.

First, it’s important to wear the helmet. Second, it’s important to ensure it fits properly and is not too snug or too loose. She said a good rule of thumb is to see that your index finger can fit on the inside of 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 those traumas are head injuries.

In addition, the hospital said child trauma incidents historically rise in the summer months and peak in July.

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Safety teams hand out helmets, urge safety precautions to prevent serious injury