Conexión San Ángelo/ Staff report

SAN ANGELO – The physicians of the Concho Valley County Medical Society want to help ensure the safety of local children by giving away free bicycle helmets Saturday, August 12th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sunset Mall Community Room, during the Sunset Mall Back-to-School Celebration.

The Concho Valley bicycle helmet giveaway is part of a statewide effort — Hard Hats for Little Heads — launched by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) in 1994. The program promotes fun exercise and teaches parents and children about the importance of wearing a helmet. The helmet giveaway is sponsored by the Concho Valley County Medical Society, in conjunction with the Texas Medical Association.

Texas physicians encourage wearing a helmet for all sports on wheels — biking, skateboarding, inline skating, and riding a scooter. And doctors want you to wear the correct helmet for your sport and make sure it fits properly. 

Cycling is the No. 1 cause of injury to children aged 14 and younger. Injuries resulting from bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and inline and roller skates account for more than 500,000 emergency department visit annually for children under age 14.  Head injury is the most common cause of death and serious disability from bike crashes. A helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent, yet fewer than half of cyclists wear one when they ride.

“Wearing a bicycle helmet is such a simple way to help ensure a child’s health and safety,” said Celeste Caballero, MD, president of Concho Valley County Medical Society. “We want to start the school year right by putting a helmet on children’s heads.”

Any child can receive a free helmet. Local physicians will be on hand to properly fit the helmets. 

Since TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads program began, TMA has given away more than 260,000 helmets to Texas children. Hard Hats for Little Heads is supported in 2017 through a TMA Foundation grant thanks to top donors — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, an anonymous physician and spouse, TMAF Make-A-Difference donors, and the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio — and generous gifts from TMA and TMA Alliance members, and friends of medicine. 

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