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Cabell Huntington Hospital Launching Helmet Drive
April 18, 2014

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Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox Jim Thompson is co-owner of Huntington Cycle and Sport near Ritter Park. He said having the right helmet means a lot for a child or an adult.

"It's the heaviest part on the body, so if you have any issues, that's going to be one of the first things to go toward the ground," Thompson said.

But Jenny Murray, director of Trauma Services at Cabell Huntington Hospital, said less than 1 percent of the pediatric trauma patients they have seen in the past two years have had a helmet on when they were injured. Medical professionals see firsthand the dangers that presents.

"Head trauma, traumatic brain injury, can be very devastating, not just to the child, but to the family, too. You can have a child who is normal one minute, they fall and they bump their head, and they have bleeding into the brain, and they are a completely different child," Murray said.

As a result, Cabell Huntington Hospital is kicking off a drive to bring in helmets and money to buy helmets for non-motorized kids' vehicles such as bikes, scooters and skateboards.

"The biggest need is probably the pre-school, kindergarten, grade school, age versus high school and middle school," Murray said.

Murray said hospital employees are going to pass them out to pediatric trauma patients that come in who don't have helmets, or who have had an accident and were wearing a helmet. She also said they are going to use them in outreach activities at local schools.

"We would like to have enough to distribute to every child who does not have a helmet," she said.

"Hopefully, we can create awareness of not just having a helmet, but having them wear the helmet. Giving them a helmet that fits properly. It's a very easy three-step process to make sure that the child's helmet fits properly," Murray said.

You want to make sure to find the correct size, adjust the fit and check your work.

Thompson said if the helmet doesn't fit properly "it's not going to do its job."

If you are not sure where to start, Thompson said, just stop in and they can help.

You can drop off helmets at any Cabell County EMS or Lawrence County, Ohio EMS station. The drive is ongoing.



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