ANDERSON — There won’t be any bucking broncos, but there will be plenty of kids getting the hang of having fun on their bikes the safe way at Community Hospital Anderson’s first ever Bike Rodeo. The rodeo takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of Anderson Public Library.
The rodeo is an opportunity for kids to hone their bicycling skills and to learn how to ride safely. The first 100 kids age 12 and under will receive a free bike helmet courtesy of a man who knows firsthand what happens to kids who land on their heads.Dr. James Callahan, a neurosurgeon at Community Hospital Anderson, said that helmets can be very effective at preventing skull fractures, concussions and contusions (bruising to the brain) in the kind of low-speed accident kids often have on their bicycles. Sometimes, those injuries can be serious. “We had two children that had mild brain injuries,” said Callahan. One of the kids was riding a bicycle, and the other was on a skateboard. “Neither one of the kids had a helmet.” When Callahan spoke to the mother of one of the children about using a helmet, she said she couldn’t afford it.“I felt so bad about the fact she couldn’t afford to buy a helmet,” said Callahan. “For a $15 helmet, we can keep these kids out of the hospital."
Callahan approached Keith Trent at the Community Hospital Anderson Foundation to jump-start the initiative for Saturday’s event. Callahan and his wife, Betsy, donated funds to purchase 100 helmets to give away."I think there is a need in our community," agreed Trent. "I certainly appreciate Dr. Callahan presenting this opportunity and making us aware. ... It's been a great way to partner with some other organizations."