As part of our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to make a donation of 200 bicycle helmets to the Quincy Police Department this year. Attorney David W. White visited Quincy Police Department headquarters on June 14th and had a nice opportunity to speak to members of the Quincy Police bike patrol.
Professional football players face a high risk for concussions, far greater than most of us. But Rob Gronkowski’s concussion a few weeks ago was a reminder that concussions can happen when we least expect them, even in the middle of a big game. And when they do, the game must stop.
Much has changed over the past decade, as hundreds of former NFL players have sued over head injuries. Every state now has a concussion protocol for student athletes. In Massachusetts, students, coaches and parents are now trained to recognize concussion symptoms and how to respond. But others should also be aware of the risks. Beyond the playing field, concussions can happen in car accidents, construction accidents, falls and other situations.
Concussions are a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which are often caused by an impact to the head. Concussions can be hard to recognize at first, with some initial symptoms mirroring the flu.
As we continue our 2017 Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck wants to share a few recent bike helmet donations and some bicycle safety tips for children over the Memorial Day weekend.
Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 100 bicycle helmets to the Norwood Police Department for the third year. Attorney David W. White delivered the helmets to Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks III in early May. The Norwood Police Department now plans to distribute the helmets at a bike safety event being planned for June. If you live in Norwood, watch local community calendars.
It was also our pleasure to donate 170 bicycle helmets to Bikes Not Bombs in Jamaica Plain. Founded in 1984, Bikes Not Bombs works to repair used bikes locally and internationally to help individuals. This was the fifth year we have made this donation.
In Boston, Bikes Not Bombs offers a popular Earn-A-Bike program, which teaches children and teenagers how to ride in the city and repair bikes during a six-week session. Students are taken on group rides and get to help refurbish a bike to take home. Each graduate also takes home a new bicycle helmet from our Project KidSafe campaign.
In addition to Earn-A-Bike, Bikes Not Bombs offers other programs for teenagers in the Boston area, aimed at helping them learn safe cycling skills and bike repair. These programs include Girls in Action and BOCA, a program which combines cycling and community action.
You may see a Bikes Not Bombs tent at local community events this Spring and Summer. The organization collects and rehabs bikes for people without access to transportation in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean. Bicycles provide a means of transportation and help individuals fight political oppression and rebuild communities. If you have an extra bike, consider making a donation. Learn more on the Bikes Not Bombs website.
Through our Project KidSafe campaign, Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated over 10,000 bicycle helmets to children in the Boston area since 2013. During the fifth year of our campaign, our goal continues to be to encourage children to wear a helmet every time they ride.
Study after study has shown wearing a helmet is the most effective way to protect you or your child from a head injury if you fall or are in a bicycle accident. Yet studies also show children are not always wearing helmets, even though many states have laws requiring helmet use for children. In Massachusetts, the law says children who are 16 years old and younger must wear helmets.
Earlier this month, the Today Show reported more than 400,000 kids are hurt each year while riding bikes, scooters, skateboards and skates or roller blades. Of the children injured on bikes, only 68 percent were wearing bike helmets, according to their parents.
As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, here are some reminders for helping young cyclists ride safe:
- Wear a bicycle helmet. Select a helmet for your child which meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission standard. Properly adjust it so it has a snug fit and will provide protection in case of a fall or a bicycle accident. If you need help, there is an instructional video on our website. Then, tell your child it is important to wear a helmet every time they ride. Be sure to wear your helmet, too. These last two steps are the most important.
- Wear neon and bright colors. Stock your child’s drawers up with neon t-shirts and other clothing. You want to help your child stand out to traffic, pedestrians and other cyclists. Search “neon clothing” on Amazon.com for ideas.
- Ride with your children. Enjoy cycling with your children and teach them safe riding techniques at the same time.
- Control your bicycle. Keep both hands on your handlebars and tell your child to do the same. Keep school backpacks light or use a bike basket. Encourage children to always look ahead and not turn around to talk to you or other cyclists while pedaling.
- No cell phone use. Do not let your child ride with their cell phone. If they must, make sure it is packed away in a backpack and turned off. Cell phone use is likely to lead to a bicycle accident.
- Check equipment. Before they ride, check your child’s bike. Make sure tires are properly inflated and that the brakes work.
- Avoid riding at night. Children should not ride at night until they are older and have more experience on the roads. If you ride at night, be aware that you are required to use lights and reflectors under Massachusetts law.
Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate 120 children’s bicycle helmets to the Dedham Police Department and the Dedham Bike Rodeo this year. This was our fourth year participating in the rodeo and Attorney Reza Breakstone was on hand to fit children for new helmets and answer questions about bicycle safety.
The Dedham Police Department and the Dedham Parks & Recreation Department organize the annual rodeo, which is always held at the Endicott Estate. We always expect warm weather, but this year was especially hot and we were worried children may not come out. There was no cause for concern. We still had many parents and grandparents bring children, and children from local childcare programs stop in. Attorney Breakstone still fit about 75 children ages 4 to 10 for new bicycle helmets. Dedham police officers will give the rest to children who need one.
Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the bicycle helmets through our Project KidSafe campaign, which has now donated over 10,000 helmets to children in eastern Massachusetts. We started our safety campaign in 2013. The Dedham Bike Rodeo was one of our first events and it is always rewarding to return each year.
How to Fit Your Child’s Bicycle Helmet
If you or your child need help fitting a helmet, we want to share this video. Putting a bicycle helmet on your child is a critical step in protecting them from a serious head injury. By wearing a helmet, cyclists reduce their chance for head injury by 50 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Other studies have shown it provides even more protection so it is important for all cyclists to wear one, every time they ride. Continue reading
With a donation from Breakstone, White & Gluck, Norwood Police distributed free bicycle helmets to children who needed one at Norwood Bike Safety Day over the weekend.
Attorney David W. White with Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks III and Officer Paul Murphy. Photo courtesy: @ChiefBrooksNPD.
This is the second year Breakstone, White & Gluck has donated helmets for distribution on Bike Safety Day, which was held at the Balch Elementary School. Bike Safety Day was organized by the Norwood Police Department and the Norwood Bike Depot, a local bicycle shop. Norwood Police school resource officers and the Mountain Bicycle Unit were out to meet the community.
Cyclists of all ages came out strong for Lexington’s Bike Walk ‘n Bus Week in May. Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate bicycle helmets to children who needed one at events such as the Bike Smart Class for fourth- and fifth-graders and the Bike Art Contest. With each helmet given, children and parents were shown how to properly fit them on their own.
We are also happy to see these two little cyclists stopped by for a Project KidSafe helmet. Thanks ArtsOffRoad Lexington for sending along the photos.
Photos courtesy: ArtsOffRoad Lexington.
Bike Walk ‘n Bus Week was held from May 14-22 and coincided with Bay State Bike Week. While the rest of the state celebrated cycling, Lexington focused on bicycling, walking and encouraging use of alternate transportation, such as buses.
The organizers were the Lexington Bicycle Advisory Committee, Greenways Corridor and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School. Events included breakfasts, bike rides, a bike parade and bike maintenance workshops.
There are two active committees representing cyclists in Lexington: the Lexington Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Friends of Lexington Bikeways, which coordinated the bicycle helmet donation from Breakstone, White & Gluck. Because of their work and the strong local interest in cycling, Lexington was named a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Cyclists in 2015.
Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 140 bicycle helmets in Lexington this Spring. It is the third year we have made a donation and it is nice to see the community’s interest. In addition to Bike Walk ‘n Bus Walk Week, Lexington Police gave out bike helmets at Discovery Day on May 28th and showed children and families how to properly fit them.
Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the bicycle helmets as part of our Project KidSafe campaign. Since 2013, we have donated more than 10,000 bicycle helmets to help children prevent head injuries and ride their bicycles safely.
These are the days when children just want to be outdoors, riding their bikes. We want them to enjoy the experience and always, always wear a bicycle helmet.
Breakstone, White & Gluck recently made bicycle helmet donations in Westborough, Lexington and Dorchester as part of our Project KidSafe campaign. We are committed to protecting young cyclists and are now in the fourth year of our campaign. Along the way, we have donated over 10,000 bicycle helmets to children who need one, with support from community groups, bicycle safety organizations, police departments and schools which organize bike helmet giveaways.
Wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet is the best way for cyclists to protect themselves against head injuries from falls and bicycle accidents. Under the law, anyone who is 16 years of age or younger in Massachusetts is required to wear one while riding.
Welcome back cyclists! Bay State Bike Week is here and many of you are commuting to work for competition, attending commuter breakfasts, and participating in events to make this work week pass a little faster. The goals are to help protect the environment, reduce traffic congestion, get a little exercise, and have fun with other cyclists.
Attorney David White and Marc Breakstone on Boston City Hall Plaza with our Project KidSafe tent and Project KidSafe helmets during Bay State Bike Week 2015. The event was Bike Friday and it was organized by Boston Bikes.
Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to participate as well. On Friday morning, we will join cyclists at the Bike to Work Day event on Boston City Hall Plaza. If you attend, please stop by our Project KidSafe tent and say hello to some of our lawyers! Boston Bikes is organizing the event.
Last summer, the National Football League (NFL) announced it had reached a $765 million settlement with retired players who suffered from concussions and head injuries. But a federal judge has rejected the settlement and the debate about how to address the risk continues.
Even President Barack Obama has spoken: “I would not let my son play pro football,” he told The New Yorker magazine. But like many of us, he is a fan; he made the statement while watching the Miami Dolphins play the Carolina Panthers.
Recent surveys show many agree with the president, but many do not. In January, a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported 40 percent of Americans would encourage their children to play another sport. Nearly 60 percent answered they would not discourage their children from playing organized football. Other findings include:
- Some 41 percent thought the NFL has taken meaningful action to reduce and prevent concussions; 20 percent disagreed.
- Roughly half of those surveyed with an annual salary of $75,000 or more said they would encourage their child to play another sport. On the other hand, only about 25 percent of those who earned $30,000 or less per would try to steer their child to another sport.
- One third of those who did not attend college said they would encourage their children not to play football, compared to 42 percent of college graduates and 57 percent of people with post-graduate degrees.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll included 800 adults and had a margin of error plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.
In October, a HBO Real Sports/Marist poll reported a deeper divide. Out of more than 1,200 adults, one third said they would be less likely to allow their own son to play football if given the choice. But in the end, 85 percent said they would let their son play. Another 13 percent said they would not and two percent were unsure. (The study did not report on how respondents would feel about letting their daughters play.)
NFL Concussion Lawsuit
The NFL released figures in January showing the number of player concussions dropped 13 percent from 2012 to 2013. It has taken several steps to prevent concussions, including adding neurological consultants to the sidelines and replacing equipment.
But another notable part of the debate came from a recent NFL Nation survey of 320 players, just prior to the Super Bowl. The survey reported 85 percent would play in a Super Bowl with a concussion.
More than 4,500 retired players have filed concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL. The settlement must cover over 20,000 retired players for 65 years. The players accuse the league of long concealing the long-term risk of concussions from players, coaches and trainers. If an athlete suffers multiple concussions, it can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerate disease of the brain which is associated with memory loss, depression, paranoia, confusion and dementia.
Going the Distance, The New Yorker.
Poll Finds 40 Percent Would Sway Children Away from Football, Wall Street Journal.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents and others concerned about sports concussions that certain dietary supplement makers are making false claims.
The FDA issued a Dec. 31 warning, advising consumers to avoid dietary supplements claiming to prevent or treat concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The common claim is the dietary supplements promote faster healing times after a head injury. But the FDA said there is no scientific evidence to support this claim and it has the potential to cause serious injury. Athletes who return to play too soon because they believe they are cured risk long term health consequences. Repeated injuries which do not fully heal can cause brain swelling, permanent brain damage and long-term disability. They can also be fatal.
Over the past several years, many states have passed legislation to protect student athletes and professional sports leagues have made changes to protect players. In August, the National Football League (NFL) reached a $765 million settlement with 4,500 former players who suffered long-term injuries from concussions. Some of the money will help fund new research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This condition, which causes mental impairment, aggression and dementia, is linked to repeated hits to the head. But it can currently only be diagnosed after death.
In its recent update, the FDA also broadly warned consumers about all products labeled as dietary supplements which are marketed to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease. Dietary supplements are regulated differently than other food products and drugs.
There are over 85,000 supplements available today, but they require no approval before going to market. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Educational Act, the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring a product is safe before going to market and the FDA can take action against any unsafe product after it starts being sold.
Dietary Supplement Companies
In this case, the FDA acted on a tip from the U.S. Department of Defense and conducted market surveillance. It found two companies making improper claims: PruTect Rx of Highlands Ranch, Colorado and Trinity Sports Group Inc. of Plano, Texas. It issued warning letters in September 2012 and both companies changed their websites and labeling.
But in December 2013, the FDA had to warn a third company, Star Scientific, Inc. for marketing a product called Anatabloc with claims to treat TBIs.
The FDA said consumers may come across these dietary supplements on the Internet, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and retail outlets. They often promise to heal TBIs with ingredients such as turmeric, an Indian spice, and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil.
Can a Dietary Supplement Treat a Concussion? No., FDA Update.