Program rewards kids for bike safety

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OSSEO, Wis. (WEAU)- As summer begins many parents will be pulling bikes out from the back of the garage for bike rides, but getting kids to wear a bike helmet isn't always top of mind.

One Osseo woman's efforts have more kids strapping on their helmets to stay safe.

Some might call her the bike helmet fairy. Instead of rewarding kids for lost teeth Jean Julson takes to the streets of Osseo looking to catch kids staying safe on their bikes by wearing a helmet.

“I was concerned about children not wearing helmets and that was a big thing for me because their brain is affected if they have an injury,” Julson explained

Julson says she noticed many kids in the neighborhood riding around without helmets on. That’s when she came up with a plan to reward kids she saw wearing them.

After handing out coupons for free treats on her own last year Jean asked the Osseo police department to help her. A job the department says were more than happy to take on. That effort has paid off.

It’s reminded Jillian Scheffer and her siblings that a helmet goes on their heads before they take to the pavement.For the first grader the reason why is simple.

“Because you could split your brain in half,” Scheffer explained.

Dad Aaron Scheffer says the kids always get excited to pick out their helmets every spring and Julson wants to remind parents that fit is important.

She says a good rule of thumb is to follow the 2x2x2 method.

With the helmet on your head, Scheffer says you should see the very edge or rim of your helmet when you look up past your eyebrows. This is about 2 finger widths above your eyebrow.

The straps on the side of the helmet by the ears should meet and form a “V” right under each ear lobe. To check, form a “V” with two fingers around the ear.

Once the side straps are adjusted in a “V” buckle them. The straps should be snug but not too tight. Adjust until you can put no more than two fingers between the strap and your chin.

In addition to the coupons donated by local businesses kids are also entered into a drawing to win a free bike and a custom helmet.

Julson says she is working with other police departments in the area to bring the program to Fairchild, Fall Creek and Augusta.

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