Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Free bike helmets available for kids

The Fredericksburg Health Department will give away 149 children’s bike helmets during an event July 7 designed to promote safe cycling. The bike rodeo will be held at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Stafford County from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kids interested in getting a helmet need to sign up in advance by filling out a pre-registration form. By the end of this week, forms will be available at area health department offices, the Bragg Hill Family Life Center and Stafford Junction. Or, you can call Carrie Schaefer, of the Rappahannock Area Health District, at 540/322-5955.

The rodeo is for children ages 5-12, and volunteers from Bike Works, local health departments and other groups will be on hand to educate kids about bike safety, Schaefer said.

“The children will have their bikes inspected, their helmet properly fitted, listen to a brief safety talk, then go through stations to teach safe rider skills, such as quick stops,  stopping at the end of driveways, etc.,” Schaefer said. “I am a cyclist myself and am so excited to be bringing this type of event to local youth.  There is such a lack of general education about riding safely on our streets. ”

The city health department received funding for the helmets through a grant from the Virginia Department of Health, Schaefer said.