Local law firm to distribute bike helmets
Local law firm to distribute bike helmets to Tecumseh Public School students.
More than 4,000 to be donated this year through OTLA’s Helmets on Kids program.
Burlington, ON – On May 15th, 2012 a local representative of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) will be at Tecumseh Public School where they will hand out more than 80 bicycle helmets to students in Grades 1, 2 and 3.
Laura Hillyer is a Burlington-based personal injury lawyer with Martin & Hillyer Associates, and Chair of the OTLA’s Helmets on Kids task group for Halton. This year, OTLA’s Helmets on Kids initiative will help distribute an estimated 4,000 bicycle helmets to school-age children in cities and regions across Ontario.
OTLA’s Helmets on Kids Community Partnership was started by OTLA members in 2002. Since its first event, held in London, Ontario, this initiative has distributed more than 15,000 helmets to elementary school students.
Starting in 2008, OTLA members have worked together to expand the Helmets on Kids campaign to other cities and regions across the province. This year, OTLA’s Helmet on Kids events will take place during May and June in Ottawa, Toronto, London, Aurora, Halton Region (Burlington), Peel Region, Quinte Region (Trenton), Sudbury, Windsor, Simcoe County (Midland), and Thunder Bay.
The mandate of OTLA’s Helmets on Kids program is to put a helmet on the head of every child who needs one, and provide education and awareness to school-aged children about bicycle helmet use.
“Helmet use is key to injury prevention,” said Laura Hillyer, a Burlington-based personal injury lawyer and Chair of OTLA’s Helmet on Kids Campaign for Halton. “OTLA lawyers dedicate their professional time to assisting those who have been injured. Every day we see the devastation that is caused by serious accidents. We consider it a privilege to work directly with youth in our communities each spring, bringing them the message of head injury prevention.”
Numerous OTLA lawyer members and law firms have made financial donations to help purchase helmets for the Helmets on Kids campaign and all work is done by OTLA members, on a volunteer basis. Each event is also supported locally by a number of community partners, such as Public Health, regional chapters of the Ontario Brain Injury Association, local police and hospitals and other safety associations and organizations committed to brain injury awareness and treatment.
The Helmets on Kids program has been recognized with awards from the Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC), the Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) and the Ontario Safety League (OSL) for its contribution to promoting injury prevention awareness and safety education.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, cycling injuries are by far the most common injury from summer sports and recreational activity, accounting for half of all hospital admissions. Among the most severe cycling injury admissions of the past decade (those requiring admission to a special trauma centre), 78% of those hospitalized with a head injury were not wearing a helmet when their injury occurred.
There is good news though. While the number of cycling injuries has remained static over the past decade, the good news is that many studies are showing that the widespread use of helmets has resulted in fewer serious head injuries among children, according to Pamela Fuselli, Executive Director of Safe Kids Canada.
The most recent statistics indicate that in 2009-2010 cycling injury hospitalization rates were the lowest in Ontario and Nova Scotia, as compared to other provinces.
For more information: Laura Hillyer, Barrister & Solictor at Martin & Hillyer Associates; Helmet on Kids Campaign for Halton, 905-637-5641.
About the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association – www.otla.com
Founded in 1991, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) is an organization of more than 1,300 plaintiff lawyers, law clerks, articling students and law students. Our purpose is to promote access to justice for all Ontarians, preserve and improve the civil justice system, and advocate for the rights of those who have suffered injury and losses as the result of wrongdoing by others, while at the same time advocating strongly for safety initiatives.