The Huron County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with AAA East Central, is sponsoring the "Helmet Smart" bicycle safety campaign.
This program gives deputies a positive tool to reinforce the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Throughout the summer months of June, July and August, deputies on patrol will look for children who are wearing their helmets while riding their bicycles.
"Each child who is observed wearing a helmet will be issued a 'safety citation' from the deputy, which congratulates the safety-conscious bicyclist on being 'helmet smart.' In addition, a coupon for a free ice-cream cone will be presented to the citation bearer that will be honored at any one of the participating McDonald's restaurants in Huron County, plus a chance to win a new bike," Lt. Theresa Shean said.
There will be three separate drawings for the new bike: For the month of June, July and August.
"Remember: Under Ohio law, bikes are vehicles and must obey the rules of the road," Shean said.
Wear the helmet flat atop your head -- not tilted back at an angle. Make sure the helmet fits snugly and doesn't obstruct your field of vision. Make sure the chin strap fits securely and that the buckle stays fastened.
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Getting children to wear bicycle helmets
Parents can help their children establish the habit early of wearing bicycle helmets by getting them helmets when they begin riding.
n Wear one yourself. Provide a role model for your children.
n When you first get helmets for your kids, talk to them about why you want them to protect their heads.
n Let them know bikes are not toys, but vehicles.
n They can hurt their head permanently or even die from a head injury.
n Reward children for wearing their helmets.
n Don't let them ride their bikes unless they wear their helmets. Be consistent.
n Plan bicycle outings together during which all family members wear their helmets.
n Encourage their friends to wear helmets. Peer pressure can be used in a positive way.
n Crashes can occur on sidewalks, driveways, bike paths and parks, as well as streets. You cannot predict when a situation will occur that results in a dangerous fall.
n Always wear it even for short rides just down the street.
Source: Lt. Theresa Shean, of the Huron County Sheriff's Office