Get children moving, give away free helmets

Tags: tafp, public health, advocacy, hard hats for little heads, childhood obesity, texas medical association

Get children moving, give away free helmets

posted 02.17.11

It’s alarming: Obesity rates among U.S. children and adolescents have tripled since 1980. Even more frightening, obese kids have an 80 percent chance of lifelong obesity, putting them at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems.

You can take steps right now to reverse this statistic. How? By giving away free bicycle helmets.

The Texas Medical Association’s Hard Hats for Little Heads program makes it easy. They have the tools you need to encourage your young patients to ride their bikes and to ride them safely. Here are three ideas to get you on your way:

  1. Give a free helmet to children at their well-check appointment to encourage them to exercise.
  2. Hold a weekly and/or monthly drawing for free bicycle helmets. Excellent months to hold a drawing are Bike Month in May or Brain Injury Awareness Month in October.
  3. Plan a larger-scale giveaway in your community, at a health fair or community/sports event that children will attend.

For each event, TMA provides free helmets with a matching purchase based on the amount you buy. For TAFP members only, your Academy will pay your portion for up to 50 helmets. With TMA’s match, that means that TAFP-member family physicians can receive 100 helmets at no cost. TMA also provides educational materials in English and Spanish, including a video showing how to properly fit a helmet.

To find out more, contact Tammy Wishard, TMA’s outreach coordinator, at (512) 370-1470 or or go to

Hard Hats for Little Heads is made possible through a grant from TMA Foundation and thanks the top donors: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Prudential, an anonymous foundation, and gifts from physicians and their families. TAFP’s participation in the Hard Hats program is made possible in part by a grant from the AAFP Foundation’s Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium.