By Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette — For the third winter in a row, the Town of Lewiston Recreation Department's ice rink in Academy Park is dominating much of the activity this season on Center Street.
There's little that's changed as Director Michael Dashineau has ironed out the kinks in the rink's schedules and the actual ice itself, but an experience he went through himself last year made him consider one particular rule change.
"All children 12 and younger are now required to wear helmets," he said. "People don't realize ice is as hard as concrete and we don't want them falling and hitting their heads."
Dashineau himself fell last winter while on the ice, so he's well aware of the dangers it creates. Though he didn't hit his head – his fall resulted in him breaking his wrist – he said talks of concussions among children had him concerned enough to implement the new rule.
Enforcing it is also easy as helmets are available at the rink to rent for $1, just like ice skates are for $5.
His new rule hasn't done much to dissuade any participation this year, either, he said.
"Parents and kids have been really supportive so far," he said. "Only a couple have refused to wear a helmet. With concussions in the news, we really wanted to make sure everyone is safe."
Skating at the rink remains open every day through the month of January from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and 1 to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.