Learning to ride a bike is an exciting milestone for most kids. It brings freedom, adventure – and sometimes, danger.
Each year, our nation’s emergency departments treat thousands of kids for traumatic brain injuries from bicycle accidents. We know that wearing bike helmets and following safety rules can go a long way toward keeping kids safe on their bikes. Yet there are many children in Michigan communities who don’t wear — or even own — bike helmets. And it’s especially true for children from low-income families. By offering a safety education program called Safe Wheels & Heels, we found a highly effective way to keep kids in Michigan communities safer on their bikes, in-line skates and scooters. Protecting the well-being of all Michigan schoolchildren is a cause that’s close to our hearts.
Providing thousands of free helmets
Robbie faced an uphill battle from the moment he entered the world. Born 8 weeks early, he weighed less than 3 pounds. The tiny infant’s lungs were underdeveloped. And he had infantile cerebral palsy.
But that wasn’t all.
Robbie’s parents were unprepared for parenthood. His mother and father, both in their 30s, had a history of mental health issues, including panic disorder, schizophrenia and substance abuse. Robbie’s mother had been taking methadone before and during her pregnancy.