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On March 18, in commemoration of Brain Awareness Month, more than 135 area schoolchildren were given new bike helmets as part of the Use Your Brain campaign sponsored by the Lynn Fund and the Brain Injury Association of America. As opposed to the standard motifs, these helmets depict “pinkish, reddish, convoluted [brains],” says co-creator and Norfolk, Va., resident Gary Chiaverotti. The reaction from kids to the exposed brains has quickly transformed what was once a dorky safety precaution into a hot item: The first run of 1,000 helmets is gone, and 4,000 more are in production. Ten-year-old Katie Galvin of Holy Trinity School in Georgetown prefers her brain helmet to her old headgear. “It has a really cool design,” says Galvin, who rides bikes and sometimes scooters. “Much cooler than my purple visor helmet.” “It’s funny,” says Chiaverotti, who designed the headgear with children in mind, “because parents are wearing them, too.”

—Constantine Caloudas