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Local School Children Receive Free Bicycle Helmets

OTTAWA, ON-- Join us on June 3rd as 160 students from John Paul II Catholic School in Ottawa each receive a free bike helmet. The morning event will include special presentaions and activities by Ottawa Public Health (Don't use your brains for brakes ' info station), the Ottawa Police and EMS as wellas bike and road safety activities for the students, organized by the Ottawa Safety council.

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA), an organization committed to justice and advocacy on behalf of injured persons, will distribute almost 300 bicycle helmets to students attending schools in both the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board this summer season.


In its third year locally, lawyers and law firms in Ottawa who are members of OTLA , have donated $2,500 to the Helmets on Kids campaign, allowing OTLA to purchase about 300 helmets for distribution to elementary school students. The campaign is also being supported locally by a number of community partners including the Head Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley, Ottawa Public Health, CHEO’s injury prevention group: Plan-it-Safe, the Ottawa Safety Council, Safe Communities Ottawa, Citizens for Safe Cycling, ThinkFirst, and the Vista Centre.


In a press release dated August 30, 2006, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported that, in 2003-2004, the “highest proportion of hospitalizations due to cycling-related head injuries was seen in children and youth (60%),” stating that, “cycling is one of the leading causes of sports and recreation-related head injury.”


“The majority of head injuries in children can be prevented by wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet during cycling,” said Dr. Michael Vassilyadi, a pediatric neurosurgeon at CHEO and Ottawa Chapter Director for ThinkFirst Canada. Dr. Vassilyadi, who sees firsthand the devastating outcomes when children, not wearing helmets, are injured in bicycle accidents, pointed out that, “every year there are hundreds of head injuries in Canada, with some of them resulting in death.  Of the survivors, there are a variety of injury levels that have an altering factor, not only to the injured individual, but also to the family and community at large.  Wearing a bicycle helmet is the single most important way to protect the brain.  This is especially important in children where the brain continues to develop.  Once a traumatic brain injury occurs, there may be long-term, irreversible sequela.”


“Helmet use is key to injury prevention. In a city like Ottawa, with all the opportunities for outdoor activity, we wanted to help ensure that children are wearing their helmets when participating in activities such as cycling, rollerblading and skateboarding,” said Laurie Tucker, an Ottawa personal injury lawyer and organizer of the OTLA initiative in Ottawa.


Lawyers and law clerks who are members of OTLA will distribute almost 300 helmets to students at XX schools on XXX and XXX. Ms Tucker said, “Each time we go to a school to distribute the helmets, we spend time talking to the students about helmet safety and proper fitting. When we can, we make the presentation to the entire school and we always leave the principal with a video on helmet safety.”


OTLA gratefully recognizes the generosity of the following law firms and individual lawyers who donated funds to the 2010 initiative:


Burn Tucker, the Personal Injury Group of Doucet McBride LLP

Burke Robertson LLP

Tierney Stauffer LLP

Laurie Tucker

David Hollingsworth

Christine M. La Casse

Eliane Lachaine

Colleen L. Burn


What: Media/photo opportunity

Where: John Paul II Catholic School, 1500 Beaverpond Drive

Time: 9:30 a.m. school assembly and guest speakers, 9:45 a.m. outdoor activities, bike rodeo

On-site media please report to Laurie Tucker.

 For further information about this initiative in your community, please contact Laurie Tucker at (613) 233-4474 or

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