Safe cycling: Grundy County Public Health holds bike safety event for local youth

Katie Thornton-Lang, far right, has led the Grundy Center Public Health Department in their Bike Safety Night event the last two years, showing local youngsters how to safely fit their helmets and providing them with other tips to stay safe while biking. (Michaela Kendall/The Grundy Register photo)

GRUNDY CENTER – Last Thursday, dozens of local families and children biked up to the courthouse lawn to attend Grundy County Public Health’s second annual “Kids Bike Night” event.

Once there, Grundy County Public Health educator Katie Thornton-Lang was on hand to teach them all about bike safety – everything from helmet fitting, to providing them with important tips to stay safe.

"Our goal is to make sure that kiddos are riding their bikes safely to prevent injury,” Thornton-Lang says. “Every year, 26,000 children are seen in emergency departments for traumatic brain injury related to bicycle riding. Helmets reduce the risk of injury by 27 percent and fatal injury by 29 percent.”

Thornton-Lang says it’s important to get kids started on bike safety young.

“A lot of why we hear kids are not wearing helmets is because it’s ‘not cool’ to wear one in front of their friends,” she said. “We want to change that trend. The earlier kids realize how important it is to wear a helmet and use safe riding practices, the longer those practices will be life-long habits.”

For the full story, see this week's Grundy Register.