DALLAS – Medical City Children’s Hospital wants to help ensure the safety of local children by giving away free bicycle helmets Saturday, September 15, from 9 a.m. to noon at Bright Horizons Early Education & Preschool, located at 7701 Forest Lane, near Medical City Children’s Hospital. Medical City Children’s Hospital will distribute 500 helmets until all the helmets are gone.

The 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.

Physicians encourage wearing a helmet for all sports on wheels including biking, skateboarding, inline skating and riding a scooter. Any child can receive a free helmet. Members of the Medical City Children’s Hospital trauma team will be on site at Saturday’s event to properly fit the helmets.

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 visits annually for children under age 14. 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.

“At Medical City Dallas, we are committed to educating and caring for the community,” said Jay Roden, MD, Trauma Medical Director at Medical City Dallas. “Wearing a bicycle helmet is such a simple way to help ensure a child’s health and safety.”

Since TMA’s Hard Hats for Little Heads program began, TMA has given away more than 300,000 helmets to Texas children.