Get your kids a free bike helmet this weekend in Austin

Kid’s don’t have a bike helmet? Now’s the time to get one. (Plus, it’s also the law for kids in Austin to have a bike helmet when they ride.)


 A group of students and parents wait for the “bike train” to Brentwood Elementary School. Mark Matson for American-Statesman 2013

St. David’s Children’s Hospital is hosting a Kids Fest and Safety Fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. There your kids can get fitted for a bike helmet as well as get one free. They also can bring their bikes to make sure that their bike is safe.

St. David’s Children’s Hospital also will have safety information and demonstrations, games, prizes and more. Kids can even come in Halloween costume.

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, 12221 N. MoPac Blvd. It’s all free.

Why are bike helmets so important?

Here’s one statistic from 2012: Nationally, for every $12 spent on a helmet for a child younger than 14, $580 is saved in health care cost from injuries, according to SafeKids Worldwide.

And as  Dr. Patrick Crocker, former director of emergency medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center, said, “We have found a 50 percent reduction in head injury if they are wearing a helmet.”

One national study found an 85 percent reduction for head injury and 88 percent for severe brain injury. In 2009, 91 percent of bicyclists killed nationally were not wearing a helmet.

Stewart Williams, who was injury prevention manager for trauma services at Dell Children’s Medical Center, said of the 74 children who came into trauma services with bicycle-related injuries in 2011, only 14 percent were wearing helmets.

Get the helmet, and then make them wear it!

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