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NEWS RELEASE · 1st June 2010
M. of Healthy Living & Sport
To help reduce the frequency and severity of childhood injuries and promote health and wellness across the province, government is proclaiming May 31- June 5, 2010 as Safe Kids Week.

The 2010 Safe Kids Week theme is "Got Wheels? Get a Helmet!" which focuses on the proper use of a fitted, sport-appropriate helmet to keep children safe while using a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or in-line skates, and which raises awareness about the fact that over 1,000 children in Canada under the age of 14 are injured every year as a result of riding a bicycle.

B.C. was the first province in Canada to require bicyclists of all ages to wear a CSA approved helmet when cycling on public roadways. A properly fitted helmet helps protect the brain from absorbing the force from a crash or fall and decreases the risk of a serious head injury by as much as 85 per cent.

Since 2000 in British Columbia, 17 children under the age of 19 have died as a result of a fatal head injury while bicycling, in-line skating or skateboarding. In Canada, cycling injuries are a leading cause of injury-related death to children on wheels according to Safe Kids Canada.

Safe Kids Week is Safe Kids Canada's largest scale, annual public awareness program designed to help reduce the frequency and severity of preventable childhood injuries, the leading cause of death and disability of Canadian children. Safe Kids Canada works with over 2,000 community partners nationally to educate parents on major causes of injury and death and the simple measures available to protect their children.

Government supports the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, which is part of a provincewide partnership between the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport, University of British Columbia, Provincial Health Services Authority and Child and Family Research Institute. The unit is a leader in the injury-prevention field and in the development of evidence-based prevention strategies, and plays a key role in supporting B.C.'s reputation as the healthiest jurisdiction in Canada.

For more information on Safe Kids Week, http://www.safekidscanada.ca/Parents/Home/index.aspx. [CLICK HERE]