Children and teachers from 39 primary schools nationwide received free helmets donated by Johnson & Johnson this week under the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation’s Helmets for Kids program.
These schools include 15 in Ha Tinh Province, 16 in Quang Binh Province, and eight in Dong Nai Province.
In addition to donating helmets to new students and replacing crash helmets at no cost, 228 subsidized helmets were contributed by parents to replace those that were lost or outgrown to ensure children are fully protected, AIP Foundation said in a release.
This contribution shows the positive awareness among parents, it said.
According to the AIP Foundation, there were 60 crashes involving students reported by these schools during the last school year, including one student from Quang Binh Province who required hospitalization after a truck collided with his mother's motorcycle during a visit to his grandmother in Tuyen Hoa District.
Although he badly injured both legs, he did not suffer any brain injuries because his head was protected by a helmet.
“After one year of recovery, the student has returned to school and will without a doubt be a true testimony to the power of a helmet,” said, Nguyen Huu Xa, Principal of Hoan Lao Primary School in Quang Binh Province.
Duong Van Ba, Deputy Director of Student Affairs Department of the Ministry of Education and Training, said the schools and relevant provincial and district partners have been actively engaged in this project, showing strong interest in sustaining the impact of the program into the future.
“For example, communities have supplemented helmet donations with enhanced mass media activities to raise public awareness about the importance of child helmet use and the local governments are also implementing police enforcement,” he said.
According to Nguyen Dieu Nuong, National Program Director of AIP Foundation in Vietnam, the helmet usage rates in schools sponsored by Johnson & Johnson are very high.
“In some schools that joined the program this year, student helmet use rose from five percent before donations to 93 percent afterwards,” she said.
Khuat Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) said that this week's ceremonies involved the distribution of high-quality helmets, kicking off the National Action Plan for Child Helmet Use organized by NTSC, of which safety is the primary message.
“I believe that with official support and strong help from caring teachers and parents, we will keep our children safe on the roads. We will raise awareness for children to both protect themselves and develop their habit of obeying helmet regulations,” he said.
“Let’s show our love by putting helmets on our children.”