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Few Students Wear Helmets

School of Medicine


It was hard to tell which part of the morning was more exciting for students at Aurora’s Fletcher Elementary School – getting a new bike helmet or watching a coconut crack as part of demonstrating what could happen to your head if you fall off your bike, hit the ground and aren’t wearing a helmet.

The educational session and helmet giveaway was the idea of fourth-year School of Medicine student Corey Dobson.  He tapped his friends in the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a peer-nominated service-oriented group, and they went classroom to classroom, stressing the benefits of wearing helmets and showing the youngsters, grades K-3, that helmets really are cool.

“One of the biggest barriers to kids wearing helmets is they think it’s uncool,” said Dobson. “Today is about breaking down that and other barriers and doing what we can to help the student understand the importance of wearing helmets.

Principal Jennifer Kimpson said the visit from students with the health sciences programs at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus made an impact.

“Today was not just a group coming to school and giving away helmets,” she said. “The students were given a great opportunity to learn the importance of helmet and bike safety.”

As part of the lesson, a weight was dropped about 3 feet through a pipe and onto a coconut so the elementary students could see the impact of a falling weight.  The kids quickly saw from the cracks in the coconut what the potential for injury to their heads could be.  Their principal says that 85 percent of the time when she sees the kids on bikes, they aren’t wearing helmets.  After today’s giveaway, that’s likely to change.