Many young bicycle riders around the Tuscarawas Valley will have proper head protection this spring and summer thanks to two programs managed through Union Hospital.
Kindergarten students at several area schools receive helmets each spring as part of a safety program sponsored by the physicians at the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center and presented by nurses from the hospital’s Community Health and Wellness staff.
In addition, 4th-grade students at elementary schools in Dover earn helmets presented by the hospital as part of a bicycle safety poster creation contest sponsored by Dover Police Officer James E. Stucin Jr.
Stucin has spent the past several years in the spring discussing bike safety with students in their classrooms at Dover Avenue, East and South elementary schools, and Tuscarawas Central Catholic Elementary. He then challenges them to produce posters containing a bicycle safety message, with the opportunity to win a free bicycle helmet as an incentive.
“All of the students in the classes participated and it is always difficult to select the winners,” Stucin said. “But the most important part of all of this is explaining to the students that bicycles are indeed vehicles, and that safety, including wearing a helmet every time they ride and obeying the rules of the road, should be their primary concern.”
Union Hospital provides the bicycle helmets awarded to the poster design winners.
Kindergarten students at various schools throughout Tuscarawas County receive a visit each spring from the staff nurses of the Union Hospital Community Health and Wellness program. The nurses discuss basic bicycle safety and provide demonstrations, including the use of a mini-helmet that protects an egg from damage after it is dropped.
Students then receive a helmet that are provided by the physicians of the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center. The visits are made on an annual rotating basis to schools in the county.
“We are very grateful to the doctors at the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center, who have committed to this safety program as a method to teach young children the basics of safety from the time they begin to have an interest in and learn to ride a bicycle,” said Debbie Angel, RN, a nurse with the Community Health and Wellness program.
“This is one of the best and most rewarding programs we provide each year,” said Roxanne Griffin, RN, also a Community Health and Wellness nurse. “The enthusiasm of all of the students, the questions they ask and the excitement they show when they receive a helmet and put them on is very rewarding for all of us.”
Information about Union Hospital and all of its services available to the community is available on the hospital website at www.unionhospital.org, and on the hospital’s pages on Facebook and Twitter (@Union_Hospital).