Protecting kids with safe and secure helmets

Jennifer Ritter from Munson Trauma Services helps a child at the Bike Rodeo fit their helmet correctly.

One of the biggest health concerns for kids under the age of 14 is head injuries. Health experts say a lot of those injuries could be prevented by wearing a helmet. The experts at Munson Trauma Services are dedicated to spreading the word about how important wearing a helmet is.

Through a partnership between Munson Trauma Services and Kohl's 4-Season Safety, Jennifer Ritter educates children and the community on how to be safe all-year round as the Munson Injury Prevention Coordinator.

"In the summer we do helmet programs all over the community; we fit bike helmets, we distribute them," Ritter said.

The Kohl's 4-Season Safety Program sponsors different events, like a bike rodeo during the National Cherry Festival, around the Traverse City area and encourages parents and children to learn more about helmet safety. At those events, kids may also be able to trade in old or broken helmets for newer, safer ones and learn more about how to prevent a head injury.

"Nationally, kids from ages 5 to 14 suffer more head injuries that are bike related than any other sport out there so to us that's something that we really want to focus on- we also know from statistics that a helmet can reduce your chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury by 88%," Ritter said.

Ritter says that children often have helmets, but the problem is they aren't always wearing them correctly. Therefore a big part of her job is making sure kids know the right way to wear their helmet.

"We talk about eyes, ears, mouth and what it is is we want the helmet to be 2 finger widths from their eyebrows. We want the strap of the helmet to come into a V under their ear and then for the mouth, just 1 finger width. We want the strap to be pretty snug," Ritter said.

To support the program, books and plush animals are sold at Kohl's for $5.00 and 100% of the proceeds go towards injury prevention and helmet safety programs.

For more information on Munson Trauma Services or Kohl's 4 Season Safety Program, visit their website.

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