A helmet should be part of every cyclists’ gear.
The Toronto Helmet Initiative (THI) is designed to promote the safe use of helmets and increase the use for all Torontonians — starting with children.
“This is a way to make the city safer for cycling, especially for children,” says Constable Peter De Quintal, who spearheaded the initiative after seeing a similar program in Hamilton. “We want to get that knowledge out there that we should all be wearing helmets… The partners we have represent health, education and law and I think that is key to the partnership.”
Bike safety is routine part of his job as he often hosts bike rodeos at schools to teach children balance, braking and how to signal while cycling.
The THI, a partnership between the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto District School Board, the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto Public Health, was launched at St. Bernard Catholic School where kids had the opportunity to show off their skills and have their helmets fitted by police officers.
The rule of thumb is “Two-V-One”: two fingers width between your eyebrows and the brim of your helmet, a V around your ears and only one finger able to fit under the strap below the chin.
Hospital for Sick Children Dr. Suzanne Beno said head injuries are not the most common injury on a bicycle, but are the most serious.
Based on research by Parachute Canada, head injuries are the number one cause of serious injury and death for kids using bicycles. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 88% of brain injuries could have been prevented by wearing a properly fitted helmet.
Find out more at Toronto.ca/helmets