University of Calgary

UCQ students identify gap, promote bike helmet safety awareness

UToday HomeApril 2, 2013

By John Gulka

UCQ students use egg shells to demonstrate the importance of helmet protection. Photos by John GulkaUCQ students use egg shells to demonstrate the importance of helmet protection. Photos by John Gulka

A survey that produced grim results led to a bicycle helmet safety awareness campaign by University of Calgary-Qatar students.

The campaign was staged at DeBakey High School for Health Professions-Qatar.

“We surveyed 60 students at DeBakey, asking whether anyone had educated them about helmet safety, 50 students said no. Many of them were also not aware that there was a helmet law in Qatar that carries a 300 riyal fine,” says Paul Al-Nuaimi, one of six UCQ students that organized the campaign.

Linda Oliver, DeBakey principal, applauded the UCQ students for organizing the event. “I know for a fact there are so many head injuries, trauma cases, students falling off their bikes without protection. These are injuries that are going to change their lives forever. So, the students need to know how important it is to protect themselves, while they’re having fun.”

A member of Qatar’s EMS talks to students about the kind of injuries they handle when people don’t wear a helmet.A member of Qatar’s EMS talks to students about the kind of injuries they handle when people don’t wear a helmet.Hamad EMS personnel, Aspire Sports Academy staff and Skate Shack helmet supplier also participated in the campaign.

“I think this is such a wonderful opportunity for our students, with the University of Calgary-Qatar putting on this program with the help of Aspire, and Hamad EMS; we have had such good, informative group of nurses providing this service to our students,” Oliver added.

Haya Al-Sewaidi, a Grade 10 student at DeBakey, plans to be a brain surgeon. She knows the importance of wearing helmets. “Teenagers tend to take a lot of risks, like not wearing a helmet. I think we’re losing a lot of lives because of that.”

Adel Al-Bozom, a Grade 12 student, hopes to be a doctor. He has worn a helmet since he was young and urges everyone to do the same. “I know of someone who was injured in a motorcycle accident. He didn’t have a helmet on and he was badly injured. Helmets are life-saving and can prevent brain injury.”

“Our senior students do eight-week rotations at Hamad Hospital. They see all kinds of cases, such as what would happen to someone, who did not wear a helmet. So, they are experiencing this first hand. They know how important a helmet is,” Oliver stressed.

DeBakey presently has 165 students. It was started in 2008. Karol Silla and Shyna Devi -- two DeBakey graduates -- are now enrolled at UCQ.

Sawsan Manea, Aisha Bikhan, Shaikha Al-Qahtani, Mahla Ali and Ifrah Mohmoud were also members of the organizing committee.Haya Al-Sewaidi, an aspiring brain surgeon, knows the importance of a helmet.Haya Al-Sewaidi, an aspiring brain surgeon, knows the importance of a helmet.Adel Al-Bozom, training to become a doctor, believes helmets should be mandatory.Adel Al-Bozom, training to become a doctor, believes helmets should be mandatory.

 

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