Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Smart Safety: Helmets and Kids

I recently had a chance to interview Howard Spiva of the Spiva Law Group about kids and helmets, including initiatives to make helmets fun and provide helmets for kids.

1. What are some of the helmet laws and regulations currently out there?

Every state varies on helmet and bicycle laws. Bicyclists are required by law to wear a helmet in 21 states and the District of Columbia. There is no bicycle helmet use laws in 29 US states.

I do not advocate for more laws, nor having more government in our lives.
However the facts are that Helmets prevent serious injuries and even deaths.

Two facts highlight this

1) Studies by the Center for disease control and by the pediatric Association, both show that when helmets were mandated for bicycles that Traumatic brain injuries when down by 75% and fatalities went down by 85%.

2) According to the Center for disease control the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries in children under age 5 is in car wreck and mostly in car safety seats

Consider that, 85% of deaths eliminated!

2. Why is it so tempting to go helmet-free?

There are many reasons why we don’t see 100% participation in wearing helmets.
One reason is the lack of understanding in how dangerous it is to not wear a helmet. Only about ½ the states do not require bicyclist to wear helmets. So I would think education is the way to go. 
For some people, it may just be the inconvenience, others may think that the appearance might make them appear un-cool / goofy or some kids might think it is not “tough” to wear helmets.
Those reasons and excuses can easily be defeated when there are so many different models styles and colors of helmets available today. Every size, fit, style or color are available.
In everyday life, helmets play a huge role in safety. Virtually every dangerous activity involves a helmet = skateboards, baseball, football, martial arts, motorcycles. Even bull riders wear helmets so nobody can say tough folks don’t wear helmets.
Combat soldiers, helicopter pilots, police officers on motorcycles and police on horses, Snow skiers, mountain climbers, Fireman, snowmobilers…in today’s modern world helmets are everywhere.
As with anything, it could be money; the cost of buying a helmet. That is one reason why our charity The Justice for Children Foundation, Inc., chooses to have FREE helmet give-aways for children. (www.Headsinhelmets.com)
Even though I do not advocate for more laws, about ½ the states do not require bicyclist to wear helmets. Perhaps in the states that require helmets and will issue citations or tickets, which may motivate more people to wear helmets.
3) Why is it so important to wear a helmet? 
Simply the padding and cushion of a helmet lessens the impact to the skull. Less trauma equals less damage.
We have to find a way to get the message to bicyclist, parents and kids that helmets prevent 75% automatic brain injuries and 85% of deaths.
4) What are some things that people who do wear helmets overlook?
Making sure the helmet is a proper fit and adjusted correctly.
Many folks wear a helmet and don’t strap it. That completely defeats the purpose of a Helmet.
Most helmets come with removable pads that can be added or taken out to meet the proper fit. They are easy to install or remove with Velcro.
There are plenty of videos on the internet on how to properly fit helmets.
5) How can parents encourage their kids to wear helmets?
We help parents trying to learn information to keep their kids safe. This is one of the reasons why we promote information about helmets for parents and we show kids that Helmets are cool!
Our charity does TV and radio interviews all of the country. We promote our safety on our charity webpage. We attend to community event, parades, schools, churches and promote helmet/safety information so that parents and others learn how important helmets are in preventing Traumatic brain injuries and deaths.
Parents can do what we do. We show kids that helmets are cool!
Our charity The Justice for children foundation and my law firm, Spiva Law Group, we go to community events and educate the public and we giveaway helmets to kids.
Our program is helmets for life. We replace the helmets for FREE, as the child grows. www.headsinhelmet.com
Yes HELMETS ARE COOL!: We show kids through seeing their heroes wearing helmets
ü Famous Skateboarders,
ü Kids doing tricks on bicycles,
ü Sport celebrities,
ü Police officers on horses, on motorcycles,
ü Fireman on their fire trucks,
ü Military such as on helicopters pilots,

ü Combat Soldier
ü Super Heros: Bat Man, Boba Fett, Captain America, Iron Man, Kathryn Artemis, Magneto, Darth Vader, Thor, Paw Patrol, Dora The Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tron, Roxy Rocket, Power Rangers

When a parent is placing their child on a bicycle or in a car ask them: “Do you want to be a race car driver or a Karate girl?… or a police officer? Or a super hero?…”
”We also put FUN stickers on the helmets that each child selects… We often paint them…

It’s very rewarding to see kids get all excited about a helmet,

Some parents tell me they won’t even take the helmet off in the shower!

We carry this message to the community at

Ø Events,
Ø Schools (special needs, kindergarten…)
Ø Churches
Ø Health fairs
Ø Parades.

We save kids one helmet at a time!

We are honored that other law firms and attorneys endorse and recommend us... http://spivalaw.com/endorsements/  
We are proud of what our clients say about our firm...
TV and Radio Interviews

The Justice For Children Foundation has been protecting kids from brain injuries for over 18 years. Attorney Howard Spiva co-founded the charity in 1999 and began a program to give free bicycle safety helmets to children.
Over the years, Howard’s “Helmets For Life” program has provided free safety helmets to families in Savannah and southern Georgia and put tens of 1000’s of heads in helmets.
The program has been received so well that the charity is now expanding nationally and reaching out to attorneys across America to help further the cause.

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