The Kiwanis Club of Keene will once again host its Kool Wheels Family Safety Day on Saturday, June 5th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Keene Parks and Recreation Center at 312 Washington St., Keene. This is a free family event where children ages four through 12 may select a new bicycle helmet, learn about bike safety and speak to representatives from community organizations offering resources for children’s health and safety. The event is being extended from two to three hours this year due to limitations on how many families can be inside the Recreation Center at any given time and anticipated longer wait times.
The Kool Wheels event will follow current Covid-19 guidelines, including social distancing and mandatory masks for all those who attend, both inside and outside while waiting in line. To minimize personal contact, parents will receive a disposable measuring tape to measure their child’s head to determine the proper size helmet. Children will choose a new bicycle helmet from a colorful selection (while supplies last). Trained helmet fitters will properly fit and adjust the helmet, working with one family at a time. Families are asked to move through the venue as a group to visit the community partner tables. To effectively maintain social distancing, only one family group at a time may visit with any of the community partners. There will be markings on the floor to indicate where families can wait for their turn to move forward.
Children may bring their bikes to the event for a safety inspection and tune-up by representatives from Pedals for People and Monadnock Cycling.
The Keene Police Department and Cheshire County Sheriff’s Department will bring their cruisers, and the Keene Fire Department will provide a fire engine for children to learn about these emergency vehicles.
Kids may bring a favorite teddy bear or doll for casting by the orthopedic staff of Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene. This activity helps decrease future anxiety children might experience from injuries. In addition, Keene Orthodontic Specialists will provide dental information and free fingerprint kits will be offered by Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Every child who comes to Kool Wheels will be entered into a drawing for a new boy’s and girl’s bike, donated by Walmart. Other raffle items include prizes donated by the SwampBats and Cheshire Children’s Museum. Raffle drawings will be done the day after the event and winners will be notified. Children will receive a to-go bag of healthy snacks as they leave the event, plus bug balm donated by W.S. Badger Co. (while supplies last) and a postcard on how to download activity and informational handouts from the Kiwanis website.
According to statistics, nearly half a million children are treated for bicycle-related injuries each year. Statistics also show that only about 30 percent of all child cyclists wear a helmet, and head trauma causes over 60 percent of the injuries and deaths that occur from bicycle accidents. The Kiwanis Club is committed to educating children and parents on the importance of wearing helmets, with a goal of preventing as many bicycle accidents as possible.
Visit the Kiwanis website at keenekiwanis.org for updates on the Kool Wheels event. Major co-sponsors for this event are Mascoma Savings Bank and the City of Keene Parks and Recreation Department.