Two-year-old Willem Bratt smiled brightly when he met Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins after picking out a new helmet.
“This is a wonderful resource for the community,” his dad, Justin Bratt, said. “This is a great way to be proactive when it comes to safety.”
Justin says Willem loves his plastic scooter and will likely be upgrading soon to a metal scooter, so the helmet will come in handy.
Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, in partnership with Safe Kids Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Griffins, recently hosted a “Put A Lid On It!” bike helmet safety event. More than 100 local kiddos took home new helmets that perfectly fit their noggins.
“This is a great event,” said Theresa Cesar, who brought her grandchildren Tink and Uzayr to be fitted for helmets. “We like to visit libraries and read, and I’m excited for the boys to be getting new helmets, too.”
Three-year-old Tink sat very still while team members from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital fit him for a helmet.
Volunteers were on hand to help kiddos and families find their best fits. And every child fitted with a new helmet also received a free T-shirt as well as a variety of information from the Griffins and Safe Kids on how to be safe while being active.
Amber Mieras, a pediatric trauma coordinator at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, busily tightened straps and measured heads. As soon as one kiddo would get up and leave with his or her helmet, another would sit down to be measured.
“We like to tell people that you should wear a helmet every time you are moving faster than you can walk on your own two feet,” Mieras said. “That includes things like rollerblading, ice skating, sledding, scooter rides and most definitely bike riding.”
Mieras said the team members at the children’s hospital emergency department frequently see bicycling injuries. Falling off skateboards as kids learn new tricks comes in as a close second. Sledding accidents are also a top contender.
Little known fact: If you have a bike helmet around the house, you can use it during inclement weather while sheltering in the basement.
The helmet initiative targets elementary and middle school students in a seven-county region of West Michigan. Anyone age 17 or younger who visits griffinshockey.com/putalidonit and signs a pledge to always wear their helmet will be rewarded with a voucher for two free tickets to a 2021-22 Griffins game and be automatically registered for a drawing to win a new bike.