Heads up for helmet safety

With kids heading back to school it's a good reminder to think about helmet safety.

(WPBN/WGTU) -- Life can change in a split second. For Jennie Therrien and her family it's something they don't take for granted.

In 2013, Jennie was with her three kids riding their bikes as they normally on the dirt road near their house in Benzie County's Lake Ann.

"Jack was about five and he loved to go on bike rides," says Jennie.

Jack was ahead of Jennie and her two daughters when he lost control of his bike.

"He hit a rock or something and he just tumbled. He came off his bike and slid," says Jennie.

Jennie came running up to Jack and checked him over.

"I thought, we've got to get home. There's no broken bones. He could walk so we just got home," says Jennie.

It wasn't until she got back home with the kids when Jennier and her husband started cleaning off Jack.

"I realized he had dirt on his face. I took off his helmet and it was considerably scraped on the side he hit. Then I flipped it over and the styrofoam was smashed to the plastic. That's when I realized how hard he had fallen," says Jennie.

Jennie says she and her husband immediately realized something.

"I kept thinking if he didn't have that helmet on we would have had to call am ambulance for sure," says Jennie.
"Nationwide there's about an average of 900 people who pass away from bike related injuries and that's just on bikes. That's not all sports," says Jennifer Ritter the injury prevention coordinator with Munson Trauma Services.

Ritter says helmets have evolved over the years and in order to be life saving there's a specific way to wear one.

"I tell the kids remember number twos. Put two fingers above your eyebrow and the helmet. You should take two fingers for a V around your ears and two fingers between your chin strap and chin. So, it should be snug," says Ritter.

Ritter says parents should make helmets a habit not only for their kids but for themselves too.

"We want to spread that to the whole family because number one you're a role model, and we don't want anything to happen to you either. You need to be there for your child," says Ritter.

It's a message Jennie Therrien and her family are living on a regular basis.

"Get a helmet because you never know. We can't control what happens in this world," says Jennie.

For more information about where to get helmets for your family click here.

To connect with Munson Medical Center visit their FACEBOOK and TWITTER.