Father fastens bike helmet on his son

Making Communities Safer For Hundreds of Young Cyclists

Written By: Sandev Purewal, Senior Litigation Lawyer

The summer months have arrived, and many Ontarians look forward to this time of year, with long days of fresh air and sunlight. The trees are green, the flowers have bloomed, and more people are engaging in outdoor physical activity. Especially during the pandemic, more families and children are out on the streets and in the parks to get outside, exercise and just have some fun in the sun. Riding a bike is a right of passage for children, and while there are many benefits to cycling, there are risks too.

At Gluckstein Lawyers, we are proud to host the Set 4 Safety Volleyball Tournament fundraiser, in support of the Peel Helmets on Kids program. This program is a community-driven initiative and is committed to making the streets safer for hundreds of young cyclists. It does so by helping to fund the purchase of helmets for those who may not have access to one. Since 2008, we have provided over 8,000 children with helmets.

Each year, approximately 500 grade three and four students in Peel Region receive free bike helmets through this safety initiative, coordinated by the Peel Children’s Safety Village. The cost of the helmets is covered through donations from members of the Set 4 Safety Volleyball Fundraiser. Each of the schools participating in the Helmets On Kids initiative also receives a 25-minute educational safety assembly at their school, presented by Peel Regional Police and Peel Children’s Safety Village staff. School staff select students needing helmets to receive them free of charge.

Unfortunately, this year, in response to the ongoing pandemic, and consequent school closures, Gluckstein Lawyers made the difficult decision to cancel the fundraiser. Still, Gluckstein Lawyers will continue our mission to keep the streets safer for young cyclists. To help in this mission, we have put together some great tips and resources to ensure we remain active, and that children stay healthy and safe.

Bike Helmet Safety – Do Children Need to Wear a Bike Helmet?

The short answer is yes. First, it is the law. Children under the age of 18 years are mandated to wear bike helmets. For more information about the cycling legislation, please click here.

Ensuring that your child is wearing a bike helmet is an easy and effective way to reduce bike-related head injuries. Many studies suggest that helmets reduce serious head injury, traumatic brain injury and facial injury.

How Does a Bike Helmet Work?

A bike helmet has two components: the hard outer protective shell and the inner foam lining. The basic function of a bike helmet’s design is to increase the time interval required to bring your head to a complete stop, and to spread the impact over a larger surface area to minimize its effect. In other words, the helmet allows an impact’s force to be distributed over a larger surface area. The inside layer of foam is designed to absorb the impact and reduce the effects on the brain.

A Good Helmet Has Five Characteristics:

    1. Approved Standards Label – Look for a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label inside the helmet
    2. Stiff and smooth outer shell to distribute impact and protect against sharp objects
    3. Impact-absorbing foam liner
    4. Forehead protection
    5. Comfortable fit

2-V-1 Rule: The Right Fit

We know children grow fast. It is a common complaint of parents. In order to minimize costs, they often buy things one size larger so the children can “grow into” them. However, a bike helmet should not be one of those things; it should fit properly. To ensure that it does, follow the 2-V-1 Rule:

    1. Two fingers horizontally above your eyebrows
    2. The strap should form a V under your ears
    3. One finger between the strap and your chin

Additional Resources

The Peel Children’s Safety Village has posted several videos on their Facebook and Twitter accounts to provide the community with bike safety tips. The videos can be found at the following links:

Rules of the Road – https://www.facebook.com/peelcsv/videos/168972844510924/

Hand Signals – https://www.facebook.com/peelcsv/videos/2581513842108328/

Bike Helmet Safety – https://www.facebook.com/peelcsv/videos/1101220526919344/

Gluckstein Lawyer’s Commitment to Help Make Communities Safe

Gluckstein Lawyers is a personal injury law firm in Toronto. We are dedicated to supporting our community, and giving back is incredibly important to us. It is a part of our commitment to full-circle care. We are certainly looking forward to once again hosting the Set 4 Safety Volleyball Fundraiser in the coming year. To learn more about Set 4 Safety Volleyball Fundraiser contact us at [email protected]

Blog Resources:

https://parachute.ca/en/injury-topic/cycling/

https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/bike_helmets_for_children_and_youth

https://www.cps.ca/documents/position/bike-helmets-to-reduce-risk-of-head-injury

Photo Credit / jacoblund /istockphoto.com

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