A popular Fourth of July event is set to return to Kirby Park for its seventh year.
The Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn Fund for Children’s Advocacy (HKQ Kids) will once again give away free bicycle helmets to children 12 and younger from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Since the helmet program began in 2008, it has outfitted more than 6,400 children with helmets, the law firm said. HKQ Kids said it distributed more than 1,300 helmets last year, and plans to give away another 1,300 this July 4.
“There are just so many accidents that happen with children and bicycles,” said project coordinator Sue Greenfield.
Many of those accidents result in serious and potentially avoidable injuries, she said, and the annual giveaway is an attempt at keeping kids safe.
Greenfield said new children’s helmets cost between $15 and $25 (“Depending on how cool the helmet is.”), which may not seem expensive. However, as a recurring cost to parents it grows quickly, Greenfield said, especially when factoring in multiple children.
And parents may not know that helmets are easily damaged beyond functioning ability, she said.
“It’ll look perfectly fine on the outside, but if it’s taken a hit, the absorption material on the inside is probably compromised,” Greenfield said. Following such an event, she added, the helmet must be replaced.
Last year’s outgrown helmet won’t properly protect against injury either, she said, and also needs replacing.
“We don’t want any children to not have a helmet,” Greenfield said. “Come see us on the fourth and we’ll give you a new one.”
The helmet giveaway is open to any child 12 and younger who needs a new helmet, she said, and if HKQ Kids runs out of a needed size, they’ll order the right one and get it to the child within a week or two.
All helmets meet federal safety standards, HKQ Kids said, and each one comes with a user’s manual. Children must be accompanied by an adult to receive a helmet.
HKQ Kids, administered by the Luzerne Foundation, was established in 2005 to promote child safety through outreach and educational programs.