Dr. Steven Schmidt is a plastic surgeon and avid cyclist with BayCare Clinic. He joined us on Wisconsin Tonight to preview Open Streets.
Open Streets is a community event sponsored by Aurora BayCare. It's an opportunity for families to get out, ride a bike or walk on streets that are closed to traffic. It's patterned after the cyclovia in Brazil, where streets are closed off giving way to walkers and cyclists. There are similar events in Madison and La Crosse. We'll have several activity zones including a family zone, a rock 'n' roll zone, a safety zone and areas for yoga, music and face-painting. Stadium Bike will give away two free kids' bikes.
Open Streets is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. It'll be held on Main and Dousman streets, from North Washington Street on the east side to Fisk Park on the west.
There will also be a free bike helmet giveaway. This is part of a community wellness initiative launched by BayCare Clinic this year. It's called BayCare Clinic Bikes. The initiative promotes biking as a healthy, family-friendly activity. Efforts are aimed toward increasing bicycling and advocating for bicycling safety throughout northeast Wisconsin. Part of that initiative is emphasizing the importance of bike helmet use. To that end, our BayCare Clinic Bikes community wellness initiative has been giving out free bike helmets this summer. While it may not look cool to the kids, wearing a helmet will keep them better protected from injury than going without one.
Sr. Schmidt says biking is an enjoyable activity. It can be done solo or with family or friends. It can be for pleasure or as part of a fitness plan. It's easy to do and around northeast Wisconsin, it's an activity that attracts a great many people. In addition, we have excellent biking trails in our area - the Fox River State Trail being one example - providing miles of paved and unpaved, challenging and not-so-challenging paths for cyclists of all activity levels. Also, our summer weather is fleeting, so biking is one way to get out and thoroughly enjoy our brief but enjoyable summer weather.
How about some bike helmet safety advice?
* As parents and caregivers, we have to help our children start the helmet-wearing habit early. All bike riders - including those riding a tricycle - should wear a bicycle helmet.
* As long as the helmet fits properly, let children pick out their own helmet. They'll be more apt to wear one if they picked it out.
* As adults, we should set an example and wear a helmet when biking.
* Replace your child's bike helmet every five years or after a bike crash that included a blow to the head.
* Millions of Americans ride bicycles, but fewer than half wear bicycle helmets.
* In 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care. Roughly half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under age 20.
* Annually, 26,000 bicycle-related injuries to children and adolescents are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments.
* Any bicyclist who does not wear a bicycle helmet is at increased risk of head injury.
* In the event of a crash, wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of brain injury and head injury by as much as 85 percent to 88 percent.
* Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home.
* Thousands of children are seriously injured each year in bicycle falls with more than 600 children dying from them each year.
Call BayCare Clinic at 877-229-2273 for information or visit baycare.net.