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'Safety Spokes' success to spur more helmet handouts in the future

By Terri Richardson
May 26, 2010 at 10:53 a.m.

COURTNEY CASE/News Messenger Harrison Brown is fitted with a new helmet during the Safety Spokes Bicycle Round Up Saturday. New Helmets where provided by Good Shepherd Medical Center Marshall for everyone who signed up to take the corse.

Living in a world of wheels has its dangers, especially head injuries from bicycle wrecks, but Marshall’s caring groups gathered Saturday at Marshall High School to share ways to curb accidents.

“It went real well, real successful with a moderate turnout,” said Jerry Neel, trauma coordinator at Good Shepherd Medical Center-Marshall. “Maverick Chain Gang worked on bicycles, and Dr. Kilpatrick taught them about bike safety.” Participants in the “Safety Spokes Bicycle Roundup” had to be 5 years or older, and about 30 helmets were given out during the event that was conducted in connection with the Texas Medical Association’s “Hard Hats for Little Heads” program.

Nicole Diosdado, of Bethany, brought her son Adrian, 5, to get a new helmet after he out grew his other one, and he loved it.

“It’s awesome and it has red on it,” said Adrian. “I have training wheels. I like to go super fast too, like Cory (Walls, MHS football) and Lightening McQueen.â

After being fitted for the helmet, Adrian wore it around, holding his head high.

“The kids seemed to be overall appreciative and proud,” said Neel. “We plan to do it again now that we’ve tried it.â

While the helmets and education on safety are free to the public, it’s still up to the riders’ and their parents to take advantage of the tips that could reduce their chance of having a bicycle injury.

“People still have to decide they want to wear helmets,” said Neel.

Dr. Charles Kilpatrick, trauma director for GSMC, also participated and was concerned over the national statistics for bicycle accidents and especially serious head injuries.

“There were 300,000 ER visits from bicycle injuries, and 80,000 were severe head injuries,” he said, noting 250 of the bike wrecks resulted in death. “This statewide program prevents head injuries in child bike riders.â

The Maverick Chain Gang looked over some bicycles brought over by participants and repaired some of them before taking them for a ride around the parking lot. The Marshall Fire Department and the Marshall Police Department were also on hand to teach street safety.



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