Did you know that the Drexel Heights Fire District provides free children’s bike helmets and booster seats?
Start the New Year off by keeping our kiddos safe, with a special thanks to our community partners at the Pima County Community Development Block Grant and Safe Kids Pima County. If you need the equipment (and you’re a DHFD resident) please reach out to DHFD’s Administration Center located at 5030 S. Camino Verde or call 883-4341 during normal business hours.
The single most important safety precaution you can do when riding your bicycle is to wear a helmet. It’s not only an important safety tip for kids, but for adults, too. In Pima County, it’s required by law to wear a helmet if you are under the age of 18, and wearing a helmet properly can save lives.
According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, medical research shows that a bicycle helmet can prevent 85 percent of cyclists’ head injuries. Helmets should fit snuggly, be positioned low on the forehead, the side straps should be in a “v” shape directly below the ears and the chin strap should be snug so only two fingers can fit underneath it. Any helmet that has been involved in a crash, or is damaged, needs to be replaced. Bike helmets can also be used for inline skating or scootering. Aggressive or extreme trick skateboarding requires a different kind of helmet to ensure safety.
Did you know that your child is ready for a booster seat if they have outgrown the height and weight limit for their five-point harness convertible or combination seat, and if they weigh more than 40 pounds?
Remember, children under eight and 4 foot 9 inches are required by law to be secured in a child restraint. Parents can be fined up to $176 for failure to comply. Booster seats help position your child so the lap/shoulder seat belt fits them correctly. With a booster seat, the lap belt fits over their hips and touches the top of their legs, rather than across their stomach. The shoulder belt is centered on the shoulder and chest, and should not rest along their neck, or be positioned on their upper arm.
Make sure to protect your child as they ride! The back seat is the safest spot for children ages 13 and under. Front air bags are deployed at 200 miles an hour and can hurt a child (And thank you to Safe Kids for providing this information).
Both, bike helmets and booster seats, are available free thanks to grant funding to all DHFD District residents. Proof of District residency is required. Children must be present to be fit for bike helmets and/or weighed for booster seat. The DHFD Administration Center is open during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) except holidays.
The Drexel Heights Fire District Board meets on the third Friday of each month at 9 a.m. in the training classroom next to Station # 1, located at 5030 S. Camino Verde. The public is encouraged to attend. All meetings are handicap-accessible and with 10 days written notice, arrangements can be made for the hearing impaired. The Fire District Board is Chairperson James Bertrand, Clerk Gary Bynum, Member Laura Dailey, Member Charles Mendonca and Member Charles Zang.
Tracy Koslowski is the Drexel Heights Fire District Public Education/Information Manager.