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Texas Doctors Hand Out 100,000 Free Bike Helmets to Kids

Photo by Stephen Yeh

When family doctor Bruce Malone was in the intensive care unit at Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital about ten years ago, he saw something that disturbed him to his core: an 11-year-old child who was brain dead after he crashed his bicycle into a culvert. The boy was unharmed from the neck down.

“I know that he would have been okay had he worn his helmet,” Malone told KUT News. “It just makes you angry.”

Dr. Malone's son died at age 20 in a similar accident.

No surprise then, that Dr. Malone is really excited that the organization he now leads, the Texas Medical Association, has just handed out its 100,000th free bicycle helmet under its 17 year old Hard Hats for Little Heads program.      

“We need to continue this program,” Dr. Malone told KUT News. “I have a grand daughter who is three-years-old, and she’s riding one of these scooters, and the first thing I’m thinking of is, ‘How am I going to protect her head?’”

Dr. Malone suggests that grownups should protect their heads too. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic on how to pick the best helmet. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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