Foxview students to get free BayCare Clinic ski helmets
Thu, Feb 9, 2017
DE PERE – For many, winter means skiing, snowmobiling, skating and other snow sports. For BayCare Clinic, it’s an opportunity to remind winter sports enthusiasts about the importance of protecting their head.
As a way to get that message across, the Green Bay-based health organization will donate about 300 free youth snow sport helmets to sixth-graders at Foxview Intermediate School in De Pere. The donations come as Foxview students prepare for a February 16 field trip to Ski Brule in Iron River, Michigan.
The trip is an annual venture funded by the Harry Macco Learn to SKI Foundation. It acknowledges students’ community service and good student skills, and encourages skiing as a lifelong fitness activity.
The ski trip also encourages safety in all outdoors activities – snow or no snow.
“While we want to be able to promote skiing as a lifelong fitness activity, we also want to stress the importance of safety. It’s a priority,” Foxview principal Andy Bradford said. “We have a lot of novice skiers and we want to make sure they are all safe. The donated helmets from BayCare Clinic will help better ensure that.
“We’re promoting the message of safety and helmet use in all applicable outdoors activities, no matter the season.”
That’s the sentiment Dr. Gerald Eckardt hoped to hear. He’s a neurological surgeon at Aurora BayCare Medical Center and has treated his share of head trauma cases, some of which, he says, may have been avoided or minimized with helmet use.
“Research tells us the leading cause of death from sports-related injuries is traumatic brain injury,” Eckardt said. “Add to that inherent risk slippery, snowy surfaces and speed and you quickly increase the opportunity for injury. It’s a risk we hope to help reduce through our snow sports helmet donation.”
Information from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons further underscores the importance of snow sports helmets.
“According to a Johns Hopkins Medicine-led study, an estimated 10 million Americans ski or snowboard in the United States each year, with about 600,000 injuries reported annually,” the AANS said. “Severe head trauma accounts for about 20 percent of all skiing- and snowboarding-related injuries, and of those head injuries, 22 percent are severe enough to cause loss of consciousness or concussion. Head injuries are the most frequent cause of death and severe disability among skiers and snowboarders.”
Encouraging a lifelong habit of helmet use should help students avoid serious head injury, Bradford said.
“Having a protective helmet makes a huge difference,” he said.
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With its 100-plus physicians, BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, serving clinical locations in 13 regional communities. Based in Green Bay, Wis., BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
About the Harry Macco Learn to SKI Foundation
The Harry Macco Learn to SKI Foundation is a memorial to Harry Macco and his passion for youth. The foundation will continue to fund the annual Learn to SKI field trip (Scholastic Knowledge Incentive) for all sixth-grade students. The field trip acknowledges students’ community service and good student skills, and encourages learning a new fitness activity for life. The field trip represents Harry’s legacy of giving kids an opportunity to play. Since 1999, more than 4,500 students have enjoyed a day of skiing at Ski Brule.