OTLA's Helmets on Kids Program to donate more than 2,500 helmets to students

BURLINGTON, ON, June 8 /CNW/ - The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA), an organization committed to justice and advocacy on behalf of injured persons, announced today that this year's OTLA's Helmets on Kids initiative will help distribute more than 2,500 bicycle helmets to school-age children in cities across Ontario.

OTLA's Helmets on Kids Community Partnership was started by OTLA in 2002. Since its first event, held in London, Ontario, this initiative has distributed more than 10,000 helmets to elementary school students. In recent years OTLA members have expanded our Helmets on Kids campaign to other cities and regions across the province. This year, OTLA's Helmet on Kids events will take place during May and June in Ottawa, Toronto, London, Aurora, Burlington, Chatham, Peel Region, Quinte Region and Windsor.

The mandate of OTLA's Helmets on Kids Community Partnership program is to put a helmet on the head of every child who needs one, and provide education and awareness about bicycle helmet use. In addition, the program also includes a videotape presentation and educational material for distribution at local schools.

Numerous OTLA lawyer members and law firms have made financial donations to help purchase helmets for the Helmets on Kids campaign. Each event is also supported locally by a number of community partners, such as Public Health, regional chapters of the Ontario Brain Injury Association, local police and hospitals and other safety associations and organizations related to brain injury awareness and treatment.

Cycling-related head injuries in children and youth account for 60% of hospitalizations in this age group, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of a brain injury by up to 88%.

"Helmet use is key to injury prevention," said Laurie Tucker, an Ottawa-based personal injury lawyer and Chair of OTLA's Helmet on Kids Campaign Task Group. "This summer, with all the opportunities for outdoor activity throughout Ontario, we want to help ensure that children are wearing their helmets when participating in activities such as cycling, rollerblading and skateboarding."

About Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (www.otla.com)

Founded in 1991, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) is an organization of almost 1,200 plaintiff lawyers, law clerks, articling students and law students. Its mission is to champion the cause of those who have suffered injury or injustice. OTLA members are actively involved in efforts to preserve and improve a civil justice system which is equally accessible to all and protects the rights of those who have suffered injury or losses as a result of the wrongdoing of others.

SOURCE Ontario Trial Lawyers Association

For further information: For further information: Laurie Tucker, Chair, Helmet on Kids Campaign Task Group, (613) 233-4474, ltucker@doucetmcbride.com; or Linda Langston, Executive/Director, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, (905) 639-6852, llangston@otla.com

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