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Boyce Park events promote winter safety for kids

| Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
A snowboarder makes his way down the slopes at Boyce Park in Plum on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014. The Kohl's Hard Heads program and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC gave away over 100 free helmets to children ages 17 and under at the Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge. Also taking place was free face painting, balloon art, music, and a magician, as well as Junior Olympics events on the slopes.
Stephanie Strasburg | Trib Total Media
A snowboarder makes his way down the slopes at Boyce Park in Plum on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014. The Kohl's Hard Heads program and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC gave away over 100 free helmets to children ages 17 and under at the Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge. Also taking place was free face painting, balloon art, music, and a magician, as well as Junior Olympics events on the slopes.
Rowan Geracia, 3, of Plum pulls a rainbow scarf as he watches magic tricks from magician Al Mazing of Shaler at the Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge in Plum on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014. The Kohl's Hard Heads program and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC gave away over 100 free helmets to children ages 17 and under at the lodge. Also taking place was free face painting, balloon art, music, and a magician, as well as Junior Olympics events on the slopes.
Stephanie Strasburg | Trib Total Media
Rowan Geracia, 3, of Plum pulls a rainbow scarf as he watches magic tricks from magician Al Mazing of Shaler at the Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge in Plum on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014. The Kohl's Hard Heads program and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC gave away over 100 free helmets to children ages 17 and under at the lodge. Also taking place was free face painting, balloon art, music, and a magician, as well as Junior Olympics events on the slopes.
Julia Stilley (far right), 6, of Greensburg, and her brother Tommy, 3, place scarves into the hat of magician Al Mazing of Shaler as he does magic tricks at the Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge in Plum on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014. Also pictured is Felix Li, 4, of Murraysville, who came to get fitted for a free helmet at the lodge. The Kohl's Hard Heads program and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC gave away over 100 free helmets to children ages 17 and under. Also taking place was free face painting, balloon art, and music, as well as Junior Olympics events on the slopes.
Stephanie Strasburg | Trib Total Media
Julia Stilley (far right), 6, of Greensburg, and her brother Tommy, 3, place scarves into the hat of magician Al Mazing of Shaler as he does magic tricks at the Boyce Park Four Seasons Lodge in Plum on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2014. Also pictured is Felix Li, 4, of Murraysville, who came to get fitted for a free helmet at the lodge. The Kohl's Hard Heads program and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC gave away over 100 free helmets to children ages 17 and under. Also taking place was free face painting, balloon art, and music, as well as Junior Olympics events on the slopes.

They don't even have to look outside. Physicians at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC can tell it's been snowing just from the injuries that roll into the emergency room, said Dr. Barbara Gaines, trauma and injury prevention director.

“When there's the opportunity for activities, invariably we'll see some kids who get injured because of those activities. If they don't have that opportunity, we don't see nearly as much,” said Gaines, who visited Kids Winter Safety Weekend events Saturday at the Boyce Park ski slopes in Plum.

The events, including an afternoon giveaway of free ski helmets, encourage injury prevention as youths gear up for winter sports and activities.

All kids younger than 18 will receive free ski helmet rentals Sunday at the park.

Skiing and sledding are key contributors to winter injuries among children, including concussions and fractures of extremities, Gaines said.

“I think some of our worst injuries happen because kids and cars don't mix well,” she said, warning parents to monitor where their children go sledding and to keep them away from roads.

She encourages sled riders not to travel head-first and to consider wearing protective headgear.

More preventive ideas are posted on the Children's Hospital website at www.chp.edu.

“We want kids to have fun — and to do it safely,” Gaines said.

The Kohl's Hard Heads Helmet Program and Children's Hospital presented the helmet giveaway. The Kohl's Foundation gave the hospital $286,091 in support of the program.

Adam Smeltz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5676 or asmeltz@tribweb.com.

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