ANKENY, Iowa — Iowa is one of three states in the U.S. without a helmet law. There might not be a legal consequence, but two Ankeny organizations want to bring awareness to the physical consequences of not wearing a helmet.
“There’s always risk with doing anything on wheels, right? Biking, roller blading, skateboarding, any of those activities,” On With Life physical therapist Jillian Jones.
There are plenty of fun summer activities that come with the risk of falling.
“I’ve responded to and seen where people who don’t have helmets get injured, and head injuries are very serious,” Ankeny Police Sgt. Corey Schneden said.
The Ankeny Police Department is partnering with On With Life, a brain injury clinic in Ankeny, to give away free helmets to kids. They said wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of getting a concussion by 70 percent.
“With a concussion, you’re kind of taking that whole brain and shaking it so you could have impact throughout the brain,” said Jones. “That controls everything in your body. It controls how you move, how you pay attention, how you focus, how you see, all those things.”
Jones said there is research which says children are more susceptible to concussions because of their smaller bodies and smaller necks.
That gives one Ankeny parent an even bigger reason to encourage her kids to wear helmets.
“You can’t have eyes on them at all times, so it gives you reassurance that it will prevent them from getting majorly hurt,” said Ankeny resident Kristin Kompf.
If parents missed Saturday’s event, On With Life will be at the Iowa State Fair handing out more than 1,000 free helmets on August 12 at the Farm Bureau Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.