Articles Tagged with preventing head injuries

Child receiving a new bicycle and new bicycle helmet.

Give the gift of safety. Always give a helmets to go with new bicycles, scooters and other riding toys.

It is a lot of fun to select a new bicycle or scooter for a child during the holiday season. But when you buy, remember to pick up a new helmet, too. This is a critical tool in protecting against head injuries and under Massachusetts law, children 16 and younger are required to wear helmets on bicycles, scooters, skateboards and inline skates.

Massachusetts Bicycle Helmet Law: Children 16 and younger are required to wear bicycle helmets when they ride bikes in Massachusetts, under M.G.L. c. 85, § 11B.

Massachusetts Scooter Helmet Law. M.G.L. c. 85, § 11B1/2 states children 16 and younger must also wear safety helmets on scooters, skateboards and inline skates, as well as other manually-propelled wheeled vehicles.


Helmet Buying Tips: Spotlight on Bike Helmets

Buy a bicycle helmet which meets the safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. part 1203). This standard is specifically designed to protect a child’s head with shock-absorbent material in bicycle accidents or falls. It requires chin traps be strong enough to keep the helmet in position on the head. 

Buy a helmet separately from your bike. You may find it helpful to buy a helmet separately. To get started, measure around your child’s head with a cloth tape measure. Measure just above your child’s eyebrows. Start looking now online or visit your local bicycle shop.

Stick to traditional bike helmets. The CPSC discourages parents from buying helmets with decorative and costume pieces, such as horns or parts which protrude from the helmet. These will interfere with the helmet’s ability to protect a child’s head should they ever hit the ground.

How long has your child been wearing that helmet? If your child has been wearing a helmet for three years, this is a good time to buy a new one. But depending on your child’s growth and wear and tear, you may want to replace it sooner. Carefully inspect the helmet on the inside and outside.

Buy an adjustable helmet. Because children grow fast, we suggest an adjustable helmet which can be tightened or loosened in the back.


Helmets Designed for Other Activities

Safety helmets are designed for certain purposes. Each sport and activity involves a different impact.

But bicycle helmets can often be used for recreational in-line skating, roller skating or manual kick scooters, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) helmet guidelines. Check these guidelines whenever you buy a helmet.

Talk to your child’s sports coach about helmet guidelines for football, hockey, lacrosse and baseball. 

Get your helmets ready for the winter. Helmets are recommended for skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding and snow tubing. Many skiers say helmets interfere with their peripheral vision and response time. If this is your thought, consider reading this New York Times blog on just how much protection they can provide.

Before we close, another point is there are times when children should definitely NOT WEAR HELMETS, including at the playground or when playing at home. Helmets and straps can get caught and strangle a child on staircases and step ladders. 

CPSC Guide – “What Helmet for Which Activity”
Helmets are essential to protecting your child. Here is the CPSC’s Guide, “Which Helmet for Which Activity.” This guide provides you with recommended safety standard guidelines for different activities, so it’s definitely worth bookmarking. Another helpful site is the CSPC recalls website, which you can search for product recalls before you make a purchase.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck

Boston Personal Injury Lawyers – Toy Safety Lawyers

kidsafe-fb-1200At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our lawyers are consistently recognized for their awards for clients in personal injury, medical malpractice and product liability cases. Through our Project KidSafe campaign, we work to promote bicycle safety and the well-being of children in Massachusetts. To date, we have donated over 25,000 bicycle helmets to children across the state.

If you are shopping for a child, we invite you to read more of our holiday toy safety series.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to donate our Project KidSafe bike helmets to Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson’s True Course Youth Program earlier this fall. The program offers youths ages 11 to 14 with a full line-up of outdoor activities aimed at teaching valuable lifelong skills.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was proud to support the Mattapan on Wheels event this weekend. We only wish the temperature had been more forgiving for cyclists riding for such a good cause. This ride is a terrific cause in our book!

The Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition organizes Mattapan on Wheels each year to encourage physical activity, as well as safe cycling on Mattapan streets and the Lower Neponset River Trail. Many Mattapan children take their first ride at this event and receive their first bicycle helmet from Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign. Our law firm donates 100 bicycle helmets each year to encourage safety. More experienced cyclists help children and others fit the helmets and get them ready to ride.

This event gives cyclists access to other key safety resources too. Boston police officers and community volunteers come out to lead the ride and follow in back. There are all skill levels here and cyclists can choose their ride and challenge themselves with a new route each year. Other community groups are on hand to do ABC checks – air, brakes and chain. Then, the ride usually wraps up and everyone heads over to the Annual Scoops and Hoops event nearby.

The event is the group’s primary fundraiser. More than 50 cyclists still turned out this weekend, despite the heat and raised over $3,200 for bike-related activities. But this is roughly a third of the typical participation and Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition is still collecting donations. You can learn more from the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition’s website. The website is under construction, but you can find the contact information and social media sites at the bottom of the page.

Photo credits: Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Facebook page.

 

About Breakstone, White & Gluck

The Boston personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck have over 100 years combined experience fighting for the rights of those who have been injured by the negligence or wrongdoing of others in Massachusetts. Our attorneys have won numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements have been recognized on the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers lists. We founded our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013 to encourage children to wear helmets every time they ride to prevent head injuries in bicycle accidents.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Attorney David W. White fitting helmets at Framingham Earth Day 2019. Part of Breakstone, White & Gluck's Project KidSafe campaign to prevent head injuries.

Attorney David W. White fitting helmets at Framingham Earth Day 2019. Part of Breakstone, White & Gluck’s Project KidSafe campaign to prevent head injuries.

While many people enjoy cycling, very few enjoy the process of selecting and fitting a bicycle helmet. The challenge is even greater for parents who have to find helmets for their children.

Breakstone, White & Gluck launched our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013 to help children and families, along with other cyclists, overcome some of the challenges. Read some of our tips for getting started with a bicycle helmet which fits and protects:

  • Before you shop, find a flexible tape measure and measure around your head. Measure from about an inch above your eyebrows.
  • Rather than shopping online, try to purchase a helmet at a local bicycle shop. Ask the staff to help you fit it properly.
  • Before you purchase, ask if the helmet meets the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Don’t share bicycle helmets. Each cyclist should have their own helmet.
  • Store your helmet inside and avoid exposing it to heat in sunlight unless you are wearing it. Don’t leave it in your car for any extended period.
  • Replace bicycle helmets when they become worn or if you or your child outgrow yours. You may want to consider buying a new helmet every three years. From the outside, your helmet may appear to be in good condition. Yet the protective material inside can deteriorate without any visible signs.
  • Immediately replace bicycle helmets which hit the ground in a bicycle accident or fall.
  • Carry your bicycle helmet if you want to use a bikeshare. Make it a rule not to rent a bike without a helmet.
  • Plan ahead: Keep an extra bicycle helmet at work or at home.
  • Remember, parents who wear helmets encourage children to wear helmets.
  • Take children to bicycle safety events in the community to encourage their interest in cycling and safety.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck

Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston personal injury law firm which represents those injured by the negligence and wrongdoing of others across Massachusetts. After more than two decades of representing cyclists who have been injured, the firm’s partners launched the Project KidSafe campaign to help prevent injuries on bikes and encourage children to wear helmets throughout their lives. The firm specializes in all areas of personal injury law.

Learn more about our attorneys.

Learn more about the Project KidSafe campaign.

Watch a video demonstrating how to fit a bicycle helmet.

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Attorneys’ Project KidSafe Campaign Gives Away 400 Children’s Bicycle Helmets in First Week of Community Events

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Breakstone, White & Gluck donated more than 120 free bicycle helmets to children and families at Framingham Earth Day on April 27, 2019. Above: Attorney David W. White with young cyclists who received helmets.

Breakstone, White & Gluck kicked off our Project KidSafe campaign in April, continuing on with our commitment to put bicycle helmets on Boston-area children who need one to prevent head injuries.

We always look forward to this time of year, giving away the helmets, talking to children and families about riding a bike (some of the kids are pretty excited!) and working with our community partners.

This year, our attorneys are partnering with more than 40 community organizations, including police departments, schools and bicycle committees. While our attorneys donate the helmets, these groups are critical in getting the helmets to children and encouraging helmet use. Many of these groups organize community events, where children can receive a free helmet, have it fitted specifically for them and ask questions about bicycle safety and traffic laws. These events are a lot of fun, teaching core bicycle skills and giving children the chance to interact with other cyclists, police officers and the community in a positive way. Children also have the opportunity to see others wearing bicycle helmets, which reinforces our message that helmets are essential.

Breakstone, White & Gluck founded our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013, with a goal of protecting children on bikes. This is our 7th year in 2019 and we plan to donate more than 4,000 bicycle helmets to children in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Everett and other communities. To date, we have now donated more than 25,000 bicycle helmets to protect children.

These were the first few Project KidSafe helmet giveaways, most taking place on Saturday, April 27th:

Arlington Pierce School

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 60 Project KidSafe helmets to fifth graders at Pierce School in Arlington, as part of its annual bike safety day during the week of April 22nd. This was the third year of the donation and our fifth year of supporting bike safety events in Arlington Public Schools. Our attorneys, MassBike and Arlington Police usually come out to talk about Massachusetts laws for cyclists, safety tips and just why wearing a helmet is important. Our attorneys were unable to participate this year due to scheduling, but we are told it was another event filled with valuable information and the students asked many good questions.

Watertown Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee

Watertown Little League Bike Helmet Giveaway. Helmets donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck.

The Watertown Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee were out on Saturday, April 27th, giving away roughly 70 bicycle helmets to children at Little League Opening Day. This marks the fifth year we have partnered with the committee to get helmets to local children. In the past, committee members have reached out to children with helmets at other community events, but this was their second visit to Little League Opening Day and they hope to continue on with this giveaway. Terrific work by the committee! Read more.

Westborough Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

Westborough families turned out strong for Healthy Kids Day at the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts, which also took place on April 27th. Members of the Westborough Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee had a busy day, fitting more than 90 children for free bicycle helmets. This is familiar ground for committee members, who have volunteered their time for the past 5 years giving away the bicycle helmets and talking to families about safe riding. We thank them for their time and dedication each year.

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The Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission (also known as Medford Bikes) gave our Project KidSafe helmets to children who needed one the Medford Indoor Bike Rodeo, which was held at the city’s recreation center. The April 27th event was put on in partnership with the Medford Recreation Center and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School. Pat Bibbens of Medford Bikes led the children through skills training. This was the third year Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe have donated bicycle helmets in partnership with Medford Bikes.  In past years, the committee has also distributed our Project KidSafe helmets at community events at the Medford Public Library and the town’s annual Medford Day. Great work this year!

Framingham Earth Day

At Framingham Earth Day, Attorney David W. White and our volunteers, Attorney Denise Murphy (who happens to be David’s wife) and Framingham cyclist Bill Hanson fit more than 120 bicycle helmets for children on Saturday, April 27th. We set up next to the Bruce Freeman Trail tent, so cyclists had the opportunity to learn about the developing trail and the importance of wearing a helmet in one stop. Thanks to both of our volunteers!

Check out more of our photos from our Framingham Earth Day donation and follow our Project KidSafe campaign on Facebook.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck was pleased to celebrate the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Partnership today. Attorney David W. White joined a gathering at the State House which recognized schools for outstanding work in teaching children critical skills, how to walk and bike to school safely. The ceremony was a nice opportunity to learn about Safe Routes’ work over the past year and get a preview of what’s ahead.

Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe campaign have supported Safe Routes’ work for the past four years. Wearing a bicycle helmet is one of the first lessons Safe Routes teaches children. We donate 400 bicycle helmets each year to help Safe Routes reach as many children as possible. 

We make the donation, but Safe Routes’ coordinators choose which communities receive helmets, based on their unique knowledge of the communities. The program’s coordinators work all over the state, from Boston and Cambridge to Martha’s Vineyard to Western Massachusetts.  In some cases, helmets are given to an entire class. In other cases, a Safe Routes coordinator will send a few helmets as needed.

As National Bike Month ends, we finish a busy May for our Project KidSafe campaign. Six years have passed since we began our campaign and each year, Bike Month and Bay State Bike Week, get better and engage more people in Massachusetts. A few of our donations:

Framingham Earth Day. This event was held on April 28th. But it’s always the unofficial start of Bike Month for us. This was our fifth year participating in Framingham Earth Day and donating bicycle helmets from our Project KidSafe campaign to the kids. Attorney David W. White and Framingham Police Officer Garrett Coffin fit 150 helmets over the first two hours of the event. The rain stayed away so this year, we got to enjoy being out on the Framingham Center Common. Dozens of vendors came out, including several organizations for cyclists. We have to add: this is always a worthwhile event for cyclists. Friends of the Natick Trails, the Natick Cochituate Rail Trail and the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail participated, giving cyclists a way to learn about the latest developments before riding.

We want to offer a special thanks to Officer Coffin of the Framingham Police Department. Garrett comes out each year. He is patient, good with people and has to be one of the best bicycle helmet fitters in Massachusetts.

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Clinton Community Safety Rodeo. On May 5th, we were pleased to donate bicycle helmets at the Community Safety Rode in Clinton. This is the second year the town of Clinton Park & Recreation Department has organized the event. We are told last year, many children showed up with bikes, but were unable to participate because they didn’t have helmets. In Massachusetts, it’s not just good sense to wear a helmet. It’s required under the law for children (up to age 16). And as we said, it is important and good sense for all cyclists.

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