The “Lids on Kids program” went to Cool Spring Elementary School in Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia. Doug Landau and Sofia Bartalone helped fit public school children for free bicycle helmets.
In addition to showing the children how the helmets worked, were adjusted, how the lights on them operated, and how to wear them safely, Miss Bartalone and lawyer Landau helped several students who did not know how to ride bicycles around the gymnasium so that they could learn how to operate the bicycles that they were given during this program.
The students were also given safety, lights, locks, bags, coloring books, with safety information in English and Spanish, shirts, and bags of Christmas presents. The school social worker assisted in translating in several cases, and several staff assisted in adjusting bicycles, explaining to the children how the gears, shock absorbers, and brakes worked on these bicycles, and making sure that the parents and other caregivers in attendance had a clear understanding of how to adjust and operate these gifts. Many students brought siblings, and everyone had smiles on their faces as Lawyer Landau helped them load bicycles, helmets, and presents into their cars. Several students wanted to bicycle home, and did not want to get off their new rides! Some of the students already knew how to ride bicycles, but were unsure how to shift gears, use handbrakes, and operate shock absorbers on the front forks.
Landau and Bartalone came prepared for these situations, and even bought extra helmets in case the sizings sent in advance to the school were too small, as these students tend to grow quickly! Landau enjoys interacting with the students and their families and hopes that the program will continue to meet its goals. In addition to getting kids out of the home, active, and exercising, the school’s “Safe Routes to Schools” program intends for there to be less vehicular traffic in front of schools, which is a danger to small children walking home. The program also is aimed at reducing childhood obesity, which became a very significant problem during the COVID-19 pandemic, when children were locked into their homes and not getting regular exercise at school.
The helmet and bike safety information Landau distributes at each school is intended to prevent unnecessary brain injury and skull fractures. The helmets are guaranteed until each student turns 18. In other words, if the helmet is in an accident, delaminates, or just comes apart, we will replace it with a new one, that is the correct size for the growing child, with no questions asked until they’re 18 years old. Over the many years, he had several students who fell off their bikes, dented their helmets, and needed a new one to take him up on the offer. Landau intends to stand by his guarantee as long as he can continue to protect children from unnecessary harm. Thankfully, no child and family he has interacted with over the decades of this program has ever needed his help in representation in an injury case. However, one of the faculty members involved in the program was in a car crash with husband, and they have become clients. They were able to see firsthand the caring way in which the Landau law team “walks the walk“ and just “talks the talk.”
If you know of a school that may qualify for the Lids on Kids Program or is part of the Safe Routes to Schools program, please do not hesitate to contact us at 703–796–9055, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.