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"Keep those lids on the kids!" was the call to action at last week’s free bike helmet ("lid") giveaway. Thanks to an energetic doctor in a white lab coat, uniformed police officers and a local bike safety lawyer, Herndon Virginia’s Hutchison Elementary School sixth graders learned about using their heads, protecting their brains and then received complimentary bicycle helmets.

With the "hands on" help of Dr. Paul Aravich from Eastern Virginia Medical School, Fairfax County Police Officers, and bike safety lawyer Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, the students got rubber gloves and were encouraged to hold and touch real human brains, skulls and spinal cords. The focus of the program was making good choices, including the choice to wear head protection when cycling, skate boarding, roller blading, long boarding, mountain biking and other wheeled sports. According to the Virginia Department of Health, bicycle helmets, when worn properly, reduce the risk of a serious brain injury by almost 90%. The Herndon school children were encouraged to wear a helmet when biking. After the school assembly, a new Bell Sports bike helmet was given to every child in the Hutchison Elementary School sixth grade, along with information to take home in a drawstring backpack.

Mr. Landau is known as "the Athletes Lawyer” because of his representation of injured bikers and other injured athletes. Landau is a competitive triathlete, who is a three time winner of the Herndon Super Sprint Triathlon, a USAT Triathlon All American and World Championship qualifier. Mr. Landau is sponsoring the event in cooperation with the Virginia Trial Lawyers Law Foundation and Mr. Henry Tragle, an outstanding local triathlete and father of 2, who was injured on his bike. Fortunately Mr. Tragle’s brain was protected because he was wearing his helmet during the fateful training ride near his Loudoun County home. Mr. Tragle won this year’s Reston Sprint race and was runner up at last month’s popular Reston Triathlon.

Doug Landau hopes to visit other Reston, Herndon and Oak Hill Virginia area schools in order to protect other students and prevent disabling and fatal head injuries to these young cyclists. If you or someone you know or care for would like Mr. Landau to come to their school to discuss bike safety and traumatic brian injury, please e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555).


  1. Gravatar for Thomas Bowden

    I'm all for having kids where helmets, properly adjusted, and provided for free when possible. However, safety begins and ends with training of safe cycling rules, traffic awareness, and common sense. It's common sense that no lightweight bicycle helmet will provide much protection for a child hit by a car. The statistic you cite for brain injury reduction is misleading and based on a very limited and flawed serving. So by all means, encourage children to wear helmets, but don't let them think for a minute that helmets make them car proof, and don't let their parents think that either.

  2. Gravatar for Doug Landau

    Dear Mr. Bowden, I agree with you 100% that helmets do not make children immune from serious injury with cars and trucks. In fact, one of the slides I had the kids read was the comparison between my vehicle, which weighs over 4,000pounds, and their combined bike & body weight. I brought bicycle helmets that were smashed in crashes and showed them how even helmets that have NOT been in an accident may no longer be safe if they are too old delaminating and/or no longer fitting properly. We also gave the kids information to take home to discuss with their parents. The motivation was seeing kids riding without any head protection and without any education as to the ramifications of a closed head injury. Some of the worst head, face and brain injuries I have seen are not from impact with a car, but contact with the pavement, curb, trees & poles. Thanks for commenting, doug landau

  3. Gravatar for Dr. Irwin Hirshberg
    Dr. Irwin Hirshberg

    This is a great idea and a real public service. It will save severe injuries and lives. Bravo!!

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