December 3, 2002
Methodist Rehabilitation Center, Bike Rack to kick off third annual Christmas safety tag campaign
By Jim Albritton
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—After two successful years, Methodist Rehabilitation Center is launching its third annual Christmas safety tag campaign.
The Jackson hospital’s safety and injury prevention program, Think First, and its certified safety super hero, Sammy Safety, will be in stores placing safety tags on bicycles, scooters, roller blades and skateboards to encourage parents to buy safety equipment along with wheeled toys—just in time for the Christmas shopping season.
“Each year, more than 500,000 cyclists are treated in emergency rooms and more than 20,000 have to be admitted to the hospital,” said Dr. Rahul Vohra, medical director at Methodist Rehab.
The safety tag campaign gets underway at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the Bike Rack on Lakeland Drive in Flowood.
“This is an important message and we’re glad to be a part of it,” said Tom Martin, owner of the Bike Rack. “We always encourage parents to get helmets when they’re buying bikes or scooters. These tags will really help.”
Over the past year, the Think First team visited bike shops across Mississippi tagging bicycles and other wheeled toys. “We’ve had great success,” said Think First coordinator Lisa Uzzle Gates. “Every where we’ve been, we’ve been well received. People are realizing how important it is to protect their brain and spinal cord from injury.”
For parents buying wheeled toys for their children, helmets aren’t an option—they’re a necessity, said Dr. Vohra. “Each year we see patients with disabling injuries that could have been prevented if they were wearing a helmet. Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of having a brain injury by more than 80 percent.”
Parents should also make sure children who ride bikes, scooters or inline skates outside are wearing reflective clothing, Gates said. “We care very much for children and don’t want to see them in emergency rooms or here at Methodist. That’s why we take Sammy to schools where we do everything we can to prevent traumatic injuries. We want to teach the kids to always think first before they get into any dangerous situation.”
For more information:
Think First using safety tags to prevent bike injuries | The Clarion-Ledger
Sammy Safety, Methodist Rehabilitation Center's injury prevention mascot, places a tag that reminds parents to buy bike helmets on a bike at the Bike Rack in Flowood. The safety tag campaign is part of Think First, the Jackson hospital's statewide safety program.