Friday, May 16, 2008
For the 4th year Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh will begin its Hard Head Patrol this summer. The program aims at encouraging children to wear helmets when participating in wheeled activities such as biking, skateboarding, or in-line skating. Local community volunteers run the reward-based program by giving out free lunch coupons to children they see wearing helmets and giving out coupons for a free helmet to those who are not wearing one. Hospital Injury Prevention Coordinator Chris Vitale says the entire community needs to work to promote helmet-wearing not just the parents of children. A helmet law was also enacted in 1995 requiring that all children under 12 wear a helmet while riding a bike. Last summer more than 125 certified Hard Head volunteers handed out 1,020 helmets, 293 coupons for helmet fittings, and 3,400 free lunch coupons to kids wearing helmets properly.