Donation to cover cost of bike helmets for Orleans County kids

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NEWPORT — Building Bright Futures’ Orleans and Northern Essex Regional Early Childhood Council recently donated funds to North Country Hospital to help cover the costs of bicycle helmets for children ages 8 and under.

North Country Hospital is a partner in the Protect your Head at All Times (PHAT) program, which the University of Vermont Medical Center founded in 2002 to promote the use of helmets in all sports where head injury is a serious risk. This includes biking, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, snowmobiling, sledding/tubing and riding ATVs or scooters. 

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The helmets are usually distributed for a $15 fee. Building Bright Futures’ donation will cover costs for families who cannot afford the fee or for whom it would be a hardship. The donation of $450 will cover the cost of 30 bike helmets for children in Orleans and Northern Essex counties.

“We are so appreciative of the enthusiastic support of the PHAT program, and we are grateful to Building Bright Futures,” Wendy Franklin, North Country Hospital Director of Communications said. “Anything we can do as a community to keep both kids and adults as safe as possible while on bikes is key. With prime time for bicycling over the next couple of months, this donation will be a great help to replenish our helmet inventory.”

The PHAT program’s work is based on medical literature showing helmets work in preventing or reducing head injuries—from concussions to traumatic brain injuries—that can have devastating physical, emotional and financial impacts on the injured and their loved ones.

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Orleans and Northern Essex county families can contact North Country Hospital (Jen Leithead at 802-334-3208) for low- or no-cost helmets. Other Vermonters can learn more or request a helmet on the PHAT website. Helmets are available for other sports besides biking, in sizes from toddler through adult, and many educational resources are also available.

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