Everyone should wear a helmet when riding a bike, but children especially need protection because of the heightened risk they face. Head injuries are the number one cause of serious injury and death to kids on bicycles. It’s also the law—in Ontario, anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding a bicycle on the road or sidewalks.
Earlier this spring, we told you a bit about OTLA’s Bike Helmets on Kids campaign. Since then, OTLA members from across the province have sprung into action, distributing helmets at schools and special events and working closely with local area partners to provide helmets for kids who need them. This year, the campaign will distribute an estimated 4,000 helmets to children across Ontario.
More than a dozen OTLA Bike Helmets on Kids events have been held in May and June, with more to come. Here are some highlights so far:
- OTLA President Steve Rastin and his firm Rastin & associates ran an event in Barrie on May 6. Simcoe County Public Health Nurse Mia Brown and Barrie Police Const. John Herd spoke to students at Algonquin Ridge Elementary School and then took a trip to Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School. They spoke to them about how to be safe while riding their bikes. Altogether, their efforts provided 500 helmets for students in Simcoe County. View CTV coverage of the event. Read coverage in the Barrie Examiner.
- My firm, Martin & Hillyer Associates, held an event at Mohawk Gardens Public School in Burlington on May 22. Principal Kennedy was overjoyed with the amount of helmets they received. She also mentioned that many of the kids continued to rave about the presentation and wear their helmets throughout class. The kids definitely enjoyed the presentation, which featured a “Jell-O” mold of the brain and a “melon drop” activity, and it was a treat to have a bicycle course, motorcycle and police car outside. Community police officers played a big part in supporting our event this year. The kids had a chance to test out their new helmets and learn some rules of the road while having some fun. See photos from the event.
- McLeish Orlando LLP, Personal Injury Lawyers also participated in the OTLA Helmets on Kids campaign, and held an event on June 2 at Dundas Junior Public School in Toronto. They held their campaign in conjunction with the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs, and aimed to bring safety awareness to young cyclists and their families and to urge all cyclists to wear helmets while they are cycling. McLeish Orlando donated helmets to 500 students at Dundas Junior Public School. Visit the McLeish Orlando blog to see photos from the event.
- On June 5, Jewell Radimisis Jorge LL.P., along with Access Rehab Inc., hosted an event at St. Mathew Catholic School in Toronto. Read more on their blog.
- In Quinte West, Kris Bonn and Joelle Briggs-Sears of Bonn Law Office distributed 110 helmets at VP Carswell Public School. All helmets were purchased with funds donated by OTLA lawyers and their firms. Bonn Law Office, Pretsell Davies Lawyers, O’Flynn Weese LLP, Reynolds O’Brien LLP, AJ Law and Fleming Garrett Sioui are local law firms that came together to purchase helmets as part of this year’s campaign. Read coverage of the event in The Trentonian.
For more bike safety and bike helmets tips, including how to properly fit a bike helmet, visit Parachute Canada’s website.
Contributed by Laura Hillyer, an OTLA Director and the Chair of the Bike Helmets on Kids Committee.