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The Dr.Tom Pashby Fund Helmet application by CityRinks: letter of response from the fund, Feb.14 2015

I wanted to update you on your request for funding. We have decided to support the Dufferin Grove skating program that you initiated several years ago - We will donate approximately 50 helmets, about 2/3 rds. with face cages, to the City of Toronto Parks for Dufferin Grove Park. The City has assured me that the helmets will be kept in a secure location and loaned out in the same manner as the skates are.

I hope that they will be delivered in the next 10 days to 2 weeks .

Thank you again for bringing this program to our attention. With respect to your new project proposal I suggest that you discuss it directly with the City.

As you know our mission at the Dr Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund is the prevention of catastrophic injury in sport and recreation. We are strong supporters of best practice equipment and use based on the best advice and standards on a fit for- purpose- basis. We understand your view of wanting to increase participation in the programs and your concern that there are factors that can inhibit participation but safety should not be one of them. The reason we have a helmet donation program is to enable maximum safe participation with fit–for-purpose CSA approved helmets. “Doc“ Pashby was instrumental in establishing the CSA review committee that has set the standards and we continue his pioneering work.

In reviewing your web site and comments on helmets with one of our Directors, Dr. Charles Tator, he suggested the following be brought to your attention.

“1)helmets prevent major brain injuries such as potentially fatal blood clots and bruising or tearing of the brain, and therefore, helmets should be worn in all sports such as skating where there is a significant risk of brain injury;

2)helmets do not prevent concussions. This fact should not negate helmet use.

We also know that bike helmets and hockey helmets have different purposes and different construction, and different levels of protection. Skating causes injuries to parts of the brain that are less well protected by a bike helmet. Also, skating may be associated with frequent blows to the head, and that is why hockey helmets are designed to protect against multiple blows whereas bike helmets protect against one blow after which they should be replaced.”

You may know of Dr Tator already but if not below is a brief bio

Lifelong dedication to spinal cord research

Dr. Charles Tator is Canada’s guru of spinal cord injury. Since the 1970s, he has worked to prevent, treat and research how to heal major trauma in people with severe head, neck and back injuries.

His skill and compassion have already earned him a place in Canadian history. He is a member of the Order of Canada (2000), Terry Fox Hall of Fame (2003), and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (Builder).

A neurosurgeon, professor and basic scientist, Dr. Tator fostered the development of a generation of surgical scientists and transformed the world’s vision of spinal cord injury. His laboratory was among the first worldwide to use electron microscopy and other modern imaging technologies to see secondary mechanisms of injury in the spinal cord, such as the loss of blood supply.

We would encourage you to advocate for safe skating with approved helmets for all participants, whether that be pleasure skating or playing shinny.

Thank you for your proposal and best of luck, Hope to meet you at Dufferin Grove some time.

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Content last modified on February 28, 2016, at 07:47 PM EST