Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting Easterseals Iowa Camp Sunnyside where I got to meet and teach three groups of toddlers. They were already well-versed in pedestrian safety like looking both ways before crossing the street, staying on the sidewalk, and holding someone’s hand when on the sidewalk. After reviewing pedestrian safety with the young vulnerable road users, we discussed riding a bike and wearing a helmet. When asked who owned a bike and helmet, nearly all the kids raised their hands.

We went over the three different hand signals to use when riding a bike so we can tell our friends if we are slowing or turning. We tried on bike helmets that Easterseals Iowa had available and went over how to put a helmet on correctly and that it fits properly. A good tip I picked up from the young cyclists is that if you’re having trouble snapping the buckle, ask a friend for help. After helmets were on and secure (which took a little wrangling) we gathered everyone and went to the land of make believe riding our bikes around the classroom to practice looking both ways and using our hand signals to communicate with other road users. I look forward to returning in the spring to practice safe cycling outdoors on the Easterseals Iowa Camp Sunnyside campus with their trikes and helmets.

During our educational event, we identified the helmets were too big for almost all our participants. Cassidy LeCroy, Director of the Child Development Center at Camp Sunnyside, reached out to Unity Point Health All Heads Covered program and secured 24 helmets for the young cyclists to use in the spring!