Riding a bicycle is a fun activity and a good way to engage in physical activity. But everyone needs to wear a helmet when riding, especially children.
Helmets on Kids is a bicycle safety initiative by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) that aims to put helmets on kids, while teaching children about bicycle safety as well as how to properly wear a helmet.
The program first started in 2002 in the London, Ontario area. Since its inception, the Helmets on Kids campaign has presented over 30,000 helmets to children in need.
Helmets on Kids is not just about free helmets. It is also about helping kids and their parents learn to properly fit a helmet to prevent injury. Helmets on Kids safety events include school assemblies where children learn to properly adjust the straps of their helmets, and learn about basic bicycle safety.
Helmets on Kids covers many Ontario communities from as far west as Thunder Bay, to Ottawa and Cornwall in the East, and to Windsor in the South.
Simcoe County Chapter
The first Simcoe County events:
Helmets on Kids started in Simcoe County in 2011. In that first year, 500 helmets were distributed to local children in Simcoe County including Barrie, Collingwood, Alliston, Innisfil and Midland.
The first Simcoe County safety assemblies where held at Monsignor Castex Catholic School and Mundy’s Bay Public School in Midland on May 9, 2011. Midland Police Services Officer Brad McKinney taught Midland students about bicycle and road safety, while Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Adele Payne, a public health nurse, demonstrated how to properly fit a bicycle helmet, along with showing kids the fragility of the human brain, using a jello brain, and eggs with mini helmets.
Since 2011, each year in the spring, Helmets on Kids has distributed helmets to Simcoe County children through the local school boards. To kick off the distribution each year, two safety assemblies are held each spring, one at a Simcoe County District School Board school and one at a Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board school.
The current community partners for the Simcoe County Chapter of Helmets on Kids are: Barrie Police, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, Simcoe County District School, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, and Rastin & Associates.
In 2016, Rastin & Associates was presented with an Active Transportation Award from the City of Barrie. Steve Rastin and Anita Wong were proud to attend at Barrie City Council on November 7, 2016 and received the award from Mayor Jeff Lehman.
In 2017, safety assemblies will be held at Monsignor Clair Catholic School and Oakley Park Public School on May 10, 2017.
The community partners are:
Barrie Police Service
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Simcoe County District School Board
Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board