By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
The Bell County Medical Alliance bicycle helmet giveaway at Belton Early Childhood Center is part of a statewide effort Hard Hats for Little Heads, launched by the Texas Medical Association in 1994. The program promotes fun exercise and teaches parents and children about the importance of properly wearing a helmet when on wheels and has given away over 260,000 free helmets to children. This event is sponsored by the Bell County Medical Alliance in conjunction with the Texas Medical Association, Texas Academy of Family Physicians and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
“Wearing a bicycle helmet is and easy and affordable way to help ensure a child’s health and safety,” said Dr. Terry Rascoe, a local physician and Texas Academy of Family Physician member. “It’s important for parents not only to encourage helmet wear with their children, but to model that behavior themselves.”
The children at Belton’s Early Childhood Center were excited upon learning that they would be fitted and receiving the helmets. They each received a drawstring bag with their name, stickers, a book mark and their helmet was placed inside after being fitted to each student.
“While fitting the kids, the volunteers spoke with them about always protecting their head with the helmet if they are on anything with wheels whether that be a bicycle, scooter, skates, skateboard, or hover board,” said Hard Hats for Little Heads Coordinator, Susan Higgins. “As a RN in my earlier years, I was a staff nurse in the pediatric ICU. Having seen and taking care of children with closed head injuries, this is very dear to me. If only one injury is prevented, my time was well spent and we did a great job!”
Hard Hats for Little Heads has had many major contributors such as 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. TMA and it’s members also contribute, along with friends of medicine.
“The Bell County Medical Alliance, a subsidiary of the Texas Medical Association Alliance, organizes one event a year. Alliance volunteers gave out about 400 helmets to 4 & 5 year olds at Belton Early Childhood School yesterday, as the classes came through every 15 minutes. We flip flop between Belton & Temple school districts, last years event was held at Meredith-Dunbar,” said Higgins.