September 27th, 2013 | Story by: South Magazine
Story by Margaret Harney
The Georgia Click it or Ticket law is all about the shoulder and lap straps, but if Howard Spiva had his way, the law would include an extra buckle under the chin.
A helmet buckle, that is. Heads in Helmets, a project of the Justice for Children Foundation founded by Spiva in 1999, is on a mission to make sure kids are clicking in where it matters most. Between chili cook-offs, a smartphone app and helmet giveaways, Spiva is reaching out to the community to spread the word about how serious brain injury is, and how a helmet can help.
“The most common place for an injury is in a child safety seat in a car,” says Spiva. “So we give away helmets for kids to wear anywhere but we encourage for them to wear it in a child’s safety seat.”
If you’re thinking that a helmet in a vehicle is overprotective, think again.
Car wrecks are not only the leading cause of death in the U.S., but they kill 260,000 children a year and injure 10 million more. The statistics on brain injury are even more staggering; each year over half a million emergency room visits by children ages 0-19 are due to brain trauma, with more than 6000 children dying from it.
With 28 years experience as an attorney specializing in traumatic injury, Spiva was a witness to these statistics and continued to see where head protection would have made all the difference. So why should your kid wear a helmet while biking and not in the car?
Spiva asks the same question. “Almost every risky activity that a child is involved in they wear head protection,” says Spiva. “Baseball, football, bicycles …one activity that children do not commonly wear protective head gear is as a passenger in a car or a car safety seat.” Now affiliates are popping up all over the country—California, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas to name a few—and Spiva’s mission is catching on, protecting the heads of kids across America, one helmet at a time.
Want to know more? Visit headsinhelmets.com. – See more at www.headsinhelmets.com