CREATED Jan. 5, 2013
Mt. Charleston, NV (KTNV) -- 7-year-old Lily Zavala is wearing pink and skiing safely down the mountain with her new black helmet.
"If you topple over it doesn't crack your head open," Lily said.
She got her helmet from the annual "Lids on Kids" program, which teaches children safety on the slopes.
"Skiing and snowboarding is a high velocity sport," volunteer ski patrol director, Randall Brody, said. "This is a prevention measure that can keep children safe."
Ski instructors at the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard resort start the program with a short safety video and after measuring the kids heads for helmet, they get one free.
"They fall so easy and it's just scary," mother Tiffanie Gaspar said. "I think it's great what they're doing for the community and the kids."
Helmets and other protective gear can save lives, said ski instructors. It's an important reminder to parents after a sledding accident that killed a local girl. Police said 10-year-old Vanesa Lara died when her sled hit a metal fence in an area called The Meadows, about a mile from the resort.
Lids for Kids runs every Saturday morning through the first weekend in February. It's a national program, but the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard resort is the only one in the country to give out free helmets.