Sunday cartoon: Bus Stop Kids bike safety

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BURRILLVILLE – We may be dealing with off and on changes in the weather patterns right now, but it is going to tend to get milder with plenty of sunshine in our forecast soon.

I’ve witnessed plenty of kids on bikes recently, and I’m sorry to say that almost all of those bike riders are riding around without protective gear and most importantly, without helmets on their heads. With everything we now know about head trauma and the long lasting repercussions children face if they fall off of a bike and hit their heads on a hard surface, it’s very surprising that parents and guardians are still allowing little kids, older kids and teenagers to ride their bikes without wearing helmets for their safety.

I have been creating kids safety coloring cartoons and providing safety materials and products for Hasbro Children’s Hospital since the first day they opened their doors to the public hoping to keep kids safer in their daily lives. Police departments, fire departments, YMCAs, YWCAs, community centers, libraries, grade schools and daycares have all participated with Bike Safety Rodeo Events and have distributed my bike safety coloring posters and materials out to kids and adults in an effort to help keep kids safer on bicycles. Many communities also have bike parks just like the one that we have in Burrillville that were built to keep kids off of busy streets and roadways during the milder seasons when kids are more active outdoors. There are also bike paths that allow kids, teens and adults to bike safely and away from vehicles in their community.

If you are an adult bike rider, you could lead by example, and wear a helmet so kids and teens might be encouraged to wear their own bike helmets while riding their bikes. The Bus Stop Kids have been reminding kids about wheeled sports activities and safety for many years. These popular cartoon characters were mascots for child safety during the Gravity Games events hosted for three consecutive years in the city of Providence. Thousands of Bus Stop Kids wheeled sports activities safety coloring books, coloring posters, stickers, magnets and rulers were distributed into grade schools across the city and statewide, along with being passed out at the Gravity Games. Full color posters and banners were displayed statewide reminding kids to wear protective gear and helmets while participating in wheeled sports activities.

Please utilize this week’s Sunday feature bike safety coloring cartoon as a vehicle to open up discussions with kids about wearing helmets. Over the coming months, we will be featuring more wheeled sports activities coloring cartoons for kids to color in and learn about their safety. Please print out, pass out and talk to kids about their safety while riding bikes. Share this with family and friends; sharing is caring.

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades.

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