COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — May is National Bike Month, and to celebrate, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gave out nearly 10,000 free children’s helmets Thursday.

Around 160 organizations from across Ohio came to Columbus to pick up an allotted number of helmets to then give out in their communities.

Hayley Southworth, Ohio AAP senior director of project management, said bike helmets can be the difference between life and death.

“We actually know that 75% of bicycle-related fatalities can be prevented by wearing a helmet, so it’s just one of the easiest ways people can stay safe when they are riding a bike,” Southworth said.

Local health, police and fire departments will hand out the helmets for free around the state of Ohio.

“It’s really our goal that people have access to free helmets, making sure that kids are wearing their helmets when they are biking,” said Cait Harley, ODOT Safe Routes to School manager. “Whether they are biking to school or around their community, we just want to help keep kids safe.”

The helmets, for kids of all ages, ranged from size extra small for toddlers to extra large for teens.

“One size does not fit all, so we’re making sure that people are not only handing these helmets out to kids but also helping them get them fitted properly,” Harley said.

A proper-fitting helmet is vitial.

“There’s a two-finger rule. You want your helmet to be about two fingers above your eyebrows, you want to have room for just about two fingers with the strap — not too loose — and you use a ‘v’ on the side around the ear with the strap to make sure it’s in the right space to really provide that protection,” Southworth said.

The organizations also said it’s vital that parents wear helmets while biking to set a good example for their kids, since helmets are the best form of bike-riding protection.