Give Helmets for Bike Rodeo

Mercy Hospital Washington, the Washington Optimist Club and the Thiemann family joined together to provide helmets for the 37th annual bicycle safety rodeo. The event, cosponsored by the Washington Police Department and Optimist Club, will be held Saturday, May 19, at the Washington Fairgrounds swine pavilion. From left are Joy Thiemann, Amy Thiemann, Shawn Thiemann, Casey Thiemann, Tim Norton, trauma nurse coordinator with Mercy, Jessica Oltmann, Optimist Club president, Julie Frankenberg and Bruce Daeger, both Optimist members, and Cindy Buescher, police department.

Health and safety experts from Mercy Hospital Washington will be at the 37th annual bicycle safety rodeo Saturday, May 19, at the Washington Fairgrounds swine pavilion.

Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. and activities will begin at 10 a.m. The free event is for children ages 5-13.

The event will offer bicycle safety information, such as road rules, paying attention while cycling and bike maintenance. The topics will be presented in age-appropriate activity stations.

In addition, helmets, helmet fittings and car seat checks will be offered.

Mercy, in partnership with the Washington Optimist Club and FKI Cleaning Services, in loving memory of Steve Thiemann, will offer free, hard-shell Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved BMX helmets during the event.

Staff from Mercy Trauma Services will make sure helmets are properly fitted to help protect children from injuries associated with cycling.

As part of Mercy Hospital Washington’s “Head Safe Program,” if a helmet gets damaged, it may be returned to the emergency department in exchange for a new one.

Each year, nearly 50,000 bicyclists suffer serious head injuries and many never recover. Properly fitted helmets can reduce accidental head injuries by 85 percent.

Children are especially vulnerable to bike accidents because they are still gaining the judgment, balance, knowledge and other skills necessary to ride safely.

Parents need to teach their children and set a good example by learning about cycling safety and wearing a helmet.

Additionally, representatives from Mercy will offer free car seat checks by certified car seat inspectors and go over the newest safety recommendations for traveling with children.

Studies have shown that four out of five car seats are installed improperly.

The Washington Optimist Club and Washington Police Department are cosponsoring the bicycle safety rodeo.