ETMC Tyler Trauma Services, in conjunction with the Texas Medical Association's Hard Hats for Little Heads program, will give out free bicycle helmets to the first 200 children between the ages of 5-14 at the annual Boys & Girls Club/Day for Kids event at Bergfeld Park in Tyler on September 25, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
"Injuries resulting from bicycles, scooters, skateboards and skates account for more than 500,000 emergency visits for children younger than 14 years of age each year across the U.S., " according to Kara Tapley, trauma nurse with ETMC. "Only 15-25 percent of children wear helmets. Head injury, the most common disability or death in bicycle crashes, can be reduced by as much as 85 percent with the proper use of a helmet."
On average, some 250 children die each year from bicycle accidents with head injuries accounting for more than 60 percent of the deaths. "Another problem is a child wearing the helmet improperly such as tipping it back on their head or wearing a poorly fitted helmet, " added Tapley. "Parents should check their kid's helmets periodically to make sure they fit and find out if it's time to get another size."