Creating a habit of health and wellness often begins in childhood or early adolescence. Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is committed to promoting wellness—and it all starts in the local elementary schools.
GRMC initiated the bike helmets program in 1995. Together with GRMC medical staff and community volunteers, the program was developed as a safety outreach initiative. Each year, volunteers from GRMC and the community unite to prevent head injuries by giving new, fitted bicycle helmets to third graders in the GRMC service area, which spans 12 schools in six different counties. In all, nearly 600 helmets are given out in a typical year.
In addition, GRMC staff and Craig Cooper, longtime owner of Bikes to You in Grinnell, give a brief bike and wheel safety education presentation to students at each school. After the presentation, trained volunteers adjust the straps on each helmet to give a custom fit for each student to ensure optimal safety.
“Helmet use is one of those things that you may never get to witness all the benefits of,” Cooper says. “Accidents without a traumatic head injury don’t get reported. However, educating kids to wear helmets at a young age and helping them understand the value of wearing a helmet creates a culture of safety and awareness that we hope lasts a lifetime.”Share this story.