ThinkFirst of Northern Nevada, Sierra Neurosurgery Group, High Desert Montessori Promote Recreational Safety During “Kids on Big Rigs” Fundraiser – April 26
By: Betsy McDonald
This spring, High Desert Montessori School brings kids and the community together during Kids On Big Rigs, April 26 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. behind SAK ‘N SAVE on Silverada Boulevard. The annual event gives kids an opportunity to get up close and personal with “big rigs” including vintage military and fire trucks, ambulances, Search and Rescue snow cats, garbage trucks and police vehicles. Other interactive vehicles include the Nevada Highway Patrol’s Collision Trailer and KOLO News Channel 8’s news van, allowing kids to create their very own newscast on site. Patrons can also enjoy a variety of tempting treats from area food trucks and learn a little something at the Project Science booth before heading over to the Kiwanis Bike and Pedestrian Safety Course where physicians and volunteers from Sierra Neurosurgery Group and ThinkFirst distribute free bicycle helmets to children in need.
“We are very excited to have ThinkFirst and Sierra Neurosurgery Group involved in this year’s ‘Big Rigs’ event helping to teach kids about the importance of wearing bike helmets,” said Stacey Perez, the event’s coordinator.
Dr. Lali Sekhon, one of 10 Neurosurgeons at Sierra Neurosurgery Group and the founder of ThinkFirst of Northern Nevada, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping prevent head and spinal cord injuries among children and teens explains:
“Each year thousands of children are involved in bicycle accidents that result in serious head and neck injuries. Research says that up to 85 percent of cycling-related head injuries can be prevented by the use of helmets. Unfortunately, though, only about a quarter of kids between the ages of 5 and 14 report always wearing a helmet while riding a bike. The goal of getting involved in events like ‘Big Rigs’ is to help avoid these injuries and keep more kids safe in northern Nevada.”
According to the most recent data provided by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), there were approximately 446,788 sports-related head injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms alone in 2009. What’s worse is that cyclists are the most likely of all athletes to sustain a head injury while participating in the sport. In fact, those riding bikes sustained nearly twice as many head injuries as football players. Now take into account that almost 75,000 of the 446,788 injuries listed above were sustained by children age 14 and under – with statistics like this we’ve really got cause for concern. But as we all know, the best treatment for injury is prevention, with helmets taking credit for a majority of that prevention.
“We encourage everyone in the community to come visit the Kids on Big Rigs event this April 26th and enjoy all that it has to offer,” added Sekhon.
“We are proud to be a part of this special day and hope that all of the children in attendance will take advantage of the free helmet giveaway so that they can have fun this summer safely riding bikes and playing with friends.”
For those who already have bicycle and other recreational helmets, visit the American National Standards Institute (ANSI.org) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM.org) websites to ensure that all helmets are properly certified and fit. In addition, XSportsProtective.com provides great information on what various certifications mean and explains the requirements for a variety of different sports and activities ranging from bicycling to skateboarding and well beyond.
Entry to Kids On Big Rigs is $4 per person and proceeds are used by High Desert Montessori’s Parent Teacher Organization to fund grants for special projects and programs, recreation and activities. Also, a “quiet hour” takes place at the event from 10 – 11 a.m. for special needs children who may be agitated by loud noises and flashing lights.