Below is a Dec 3rd article written by momentumplanet.com for the new business RADBC.CA
Burnaby, BC, mom June Stafford got that phone call every mother dreads. Her teenage son Jordan was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital, the result of a high-speed, downhill skateboarding wipeout. His wounds included a broken nose, a few deep lacerations, and a concussion from knocking his head twice on the rough pavement – something he might have avoided if he’d been wearing a helmet.
Since the accident, Jordan has come around to the idea of wearing protective headgear, but that’s due in large part to his mother’s efforts. As a result of the traumatic events of that September afternoon, Stafford and a partner launched Reduce All Dangers BC (RAD BC), a Burnaby-based program that advocates helmet safety for youth.
On Saturday, November 28, the newly founded organization hosted an event at a local school to encourage not just helmet-wearing, but artistic expression. Participants – 10 in total – were each given a helmet and access to paints, brushes and other tools for custom-designing their headgear. The idea is that investing time and creative energy into something notoriously “uncool” among youth will foster a respect for the protection helmets offer and whittle away at some of the stigma associated with them.
One future helmet-wearer perfects his design.(Credit: radbc.ca)
“We hoped to empower the students with the knowledge of safety and at the same time help them to create a helmet that suits their own individuality,” said Stafford. “It was encouraging to see how intently they worked on their designs.”
During the event, students swapped stories about of crashes, injuries, and near-misses, and shared their thoughts on why they hadn’t, until now, felt compelled to wear a helmet. The not-so-surprising common denominator was peer pressure. “Everyone there had been teased at one point or another,” said Stafford.
Stafford’s novel approach to overcoming the peer-pressure hurdle seems to be working. “The students feel more positive and empowered to wear their helmets and show them off now that they are personally designed,” said Stafford.
Future helmet-advocacy classes are in the works, with some bike-helmet-specific events also being planned. For more information, visit www.radbc.ca.