The Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC supports the Montreal Police Service (SPVM) pedestrian safety campaign.
"Each year, the Children's Emergency Department treats close to 400 children and adolescents who have been injured after being hit by a car. At least 100 are pedestrians, the other 300 are cyclists, skateboarders and even car drivers or passengers. Between 20% and 25% sustain injuries requiring hospitalization and intensive care by our trauma specialists," says Debbie Friedman, Administrative Director of the Child and Adolescent Trauma Program. "People need to know that jaywalking or crossing on red lights is dangerous, and even life-threatening. For this reason, the MCH Trauma Program strongly endorses the awareness campaign being conducted by Montreal police officers."
Friedman says with the warmer weather and the end of the school year, the Children's trauma team will see a surge in the number of children injured while crossing the street, cycling, skateboarding, in-line skating or simply playing on the street. She emphasizes that most of these injuries are completely preventable. Friedman says that the responsibility for prevention of injuries must be shared by both drivers and pedestrians. She urges motorists to slow down, especially in residential and school zones. Parents or guardians need to supervise children and make kids aware of the risks and road safety rules. In addition, she strongly recommends that everyone, young and old, wear the proper safety equipment (especially helmets) while cycling, in-line skating or skateboarding.
"Did you know that according to the Canadian Brain Injury Coalition, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of brain injury by more than 85%?" says Friedman. "This could mean the difference between a slight bump on the head and a life-threatening severe brain injury requiring surgery, extensive rehabilitation and potentially life-long problems."
Last week the SPVM announced that from May 1 to 21 officers will hold awareness and enforcement operations aimed at users of the Montréal road network. They will remind the citizens of the importance of complying with traffic signals, and the regulations of the Québec Highway Safety Code to improve road safety and pedestrian safety.