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Got Wheels? Get A Helmet!

(NC)-Bikes, in-line skates, scooters and skateboards are popular with Canadian kids. These activities are great ways to keep fit, but it's important to remember the risks that come hand-in-hand with kids on wheels.

In Canada, thousands of children and teens are injured every year doing wheeled activities. For that reason, Safe Kids Canada, a national child safety program, has launched the "Got Wheels - Get a Helmet!" campaign this spring. Safe Kids Canada urges parents and caregivers to follow these three tips to keep their children safe:

1. Make sure your child wears a helmet whenever he or she is on wheels. Head injuries from wheeled activities can be devastating and even fatal. A properly fitting and correctly worn helmet cuts the risk of serious head or brain injury by up to 88 per cent.

2. Make sure your child wears the helmet correctly. A helmet needs to be worn correctly to protect the head. It should cover the top of the child's forehead and sit level on the head. Each side strap should meet in a "V" shape around your child's ears. The chin strap should be snug around the chin, but still comfortable. The helmet should not move when your child nods or shakes his or her head.

3. Supervise your child until at least age 8. Most injuries happen when children lose control of their equipment and fall. The ability to prevent falls requires practice as well as coordination and judgment, which develop with age. Supervise your child to ensure he or she knows all the safety rules and can use equipment properly. Keep your child away from cars and other vehicles.

For more information about safety on wheels, call Safe Kids Canada at 1 888 SAFE TIPS or visit www.safekidscanada.ca. The "Got Wheels - Get a Helmet!" campaign, held during Safe Kids Week, runs from June 3 to June 9 and is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. J&J is providing an additional $100,000 to buy helmets for children from low-income families across Canada. During Safe Kids Week, a portion of each purchase of participating J&J and McNeil products will be donated to the program.

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