600 MPS students receive free bike helmets

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- With summer approaching, a lot of kids will soon be out riding bikes.  Every day, though, hundreds of kids nationwide are rushed to the hospital due to injuries.  Many of them could be prevented by simply wearing a helmet.

At State Fair Park Thursday, 600 3rd graders from Milwaukee Public Schools took part in the annual "Winners Wear Helmets" event.  It's a bike rodeo where they're taught how to control their bikes, how to use hand signals, and most importantly, how to wear a helmet properly.

“A properly fitted helmet will not move or a not properly fitted helmet will move all over the place,” said Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy Leslie Wachowiak.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and Milwaukee Police were on hand to guide the kids.

“It's important that you're able to have that contact with them, and it really breaks down a lot of barriers,” said Milwaukee Police Officer Manny Molina.

Each day, more than 700 children nationwide are treated in emergency rooms due to bike injuries.  Wearing a helmet can reduce that risk by 88 percent.

“We want to make sure that each and every time that they're on their bike, they not only have a helmet, but their helmet fits properly as well,” said Bridget Clementi from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

At the event, each kid there was fitted for a free helmet.  It’s to help encouraging them to have fun while learning a valuable lesson in the process.

“You wear your helmet down to protect your forehead, so you won't get brain damage or a concussion,” said 3rd grader Gerrone Lawson.

All the helmets given away Thursday were donated by the Habush Habush & Rottier Charitable Foundation.  It has handed out more than 105,000 helmets to kids across Wisconsin since 1999.