Kids get free ski helmets | AspenTimes.com

Kids get free ski helmets

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Dr. Tom Moore, an orthopedic surgeon with offices in Basalt and Crested Butte, is giving 100 local kids free ski helmets to help keep their noggins safe.

“We are trying to prevent head injuries,” said Gail Moore, Dr. Moore’s wife and office manager at the Rocky Mountain Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Clinic in Basalt.

The lucky local kids who get helmets this year responded to a recent newspaper ad offering the free lids. The first ones to call, or whose parents called, got the helmets.

“This year all the helmets went on the first day,” Gail Moore said. “It was overwhelming. We’ve already reserved all the helmets at this point. We’d like to do more, but we can only do so many.”

On Saturday, Oct. 19, the kids are to go to Dr. Moore’s office to have their heads measured; their new helmets should arrive in about two weeks.

The lightweight, high-tech and hip-looking helmets are coming from the Ovo ski helmet company of Worcester, Mass., which is helping to sponsor the program.

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Dr. Moore is the team physician for all sports at Basalt High and for the Aspen High football team. He also worked with the women’s U.S. Ski Team and is on the teaching faculty at the Denver Health Medical Center and the Veterans Administration hospital in Denver.

In 1995, he started a free helmet program in Crested Butte. He now provides about 100 helmets to local school kids. Dr. Moore first gave away 100 helmets to kids in the Roaring Fork Valley in 1998.

“The awareness is much greater this year,” said Gail Moore. “The first time, we just advertised in the Skico newsletter, and it took maybe three weeks to fill up the list.”

Employees from the Roaring Fork Land Co. helped out by placing the ad, handling the calls and generally coordinating the free helmet effort, which is being financially supported in part by the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation.

The helmets are going out to a range of local children under the age of 18. This year both the Aspen Skiing Co. and Crested Butte Mountain Resort are requiring children under 12 to wear helmets if they are enrolled in ski school.

For parents who might want more information on ski helmets, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has launched a Web site, http://www.lidsonkids.org.

“Wearing a helmet can help reduce the severity of a head injury under many circumstances,” said NSAA President Michael Berry.

[Brent Gardner-Smith’s e-mail address is bgs@aspentimes.com]

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