BHIT, the helmet charity, is accused of using scare tactics in a new video to encourage children to wear cycle helmets. Is portraying cycling as a dangerous activity more likely to stop kids cycling rather than make them don head protection?

Lids on kids vid gets nasty

The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust (BHIT for short but known by anti-helmet campaigners as Be Hit because of its fatalistic attitude towards cycling) is today launching a hard-hitting video aimed at shocking children into wearing cycle helmets.

Olympic gold medal cyclist Jason Queally MBE is endorsing the video, called Happy Birthday Paul.

The film is based loosely on the story of Darren Sharpe, who fell off his bike and hit his head when he was 14.

He suffered a catastrophic brain injury and seven years on still has problems breathing, speaking and walking.

Sharpe said: "Helmets might not be cool but they could save your life. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through."

As well as a actor who plays Darren/Paul the videos mum is soapstar Trudie Goodwin who plays Sgt June Ackland in the ITV series, The Bill.

Paul suffers horrific injuries in a cycling accident to bring home the message to children that helmets save lives.

BHIT which was founded by nurse Angela Lee, and is now its executive director claims that about 90 percent of children in England and Wales cycle but that only 18 percent regularly wear helmets when cycling.

Lee said the video would send out a "devastating" warning to cyclists, parents and teachers.

"Teenagers and children are particularly prone to head injuries and the most effective way of reducing them is by wearing a helmet."

Or, not cycling in the first place, which is the message many children and parents may take from this video, say anti-helmet campaigners.

A pro-choice campaigner told BikeBiz: Children also crack open their skulls when playing on swings, climbing on trees, and walking along the street but BHIT isnt interested in them, they unfairly target cycling as an inherently dangerous activity when the health benefits of regular cycling far outweigh any risks.

Kids should wear helmets but putting them off cycling is not helpful.

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