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Why One Guy Thinks His Son Should Not Wear a Helmet When Sledding...Not Sure About Other Sports

roadskater's picture

It's the helmet debate. I read this article to see if my thoughts might be changed. They were not. My thoughts are not based on numbers, but on my increasing belief over the years based on my experiences, mainly my failures if you'd like to think of them that way, but I think they were accidents far less under my control than I believed only seconds before, all in apparently very safe conditions. This doesn't make me right, but it makes me convinced. 

In the situations that come to mind, I was paying attention and was not listening to music. One was when a headphone listening dog jogger's dog on an extended leash cut across the road in front of me to try to get to know another doggie. Another was when skating in a cul de sac with a skatepal and slowing by doing little S slaloms. I hit some small gravel and my skates slid away from under me. Another time was during some fun hard skating at the Eddy Matzger workshop, and I got tangled up in myself. There are other situations where my helmet paid off, but these are three where I know it either saved some or an important part of me that could have drained away. We'll never know really how bad it might have been on any of these occasions, but I am, within myself, certain of my own opinion...wearing a helmet either saved my life or kept me from having a huge change in it. 

I don't want to overstate my incidents. They were mostly minor, though the slalom one led me to chin stitches at the emergency room, and to the dentist.

But what I learned was how little I could control my head as it whipsawed from the fall and strike of my body on the ground.

And control the situations? Are you kidding? Unless you are on a closed course where you have paid to be the only participant, you can not hope to control the situations you will come upon or that will force themselves upon you. Yes you can try to choose wisely, but you are trusting everyone you meet and even lots who have gone on the same path before to do or have done the right things for your safety. 

I liked the one comment, "Good luck with that." 

So I am not trying to shout anyone down, and I welcome other opinions, but I wanted to share my thoughts in case some kid or parent might come along and rethink it.

Wearing a helmet is something I do for myself because I am more convinced after each fall, and I want to keep skating, and know to do that I will fall some. 

Wearing a helmet is also something I do to show kids and their parents (income and care providers) that you don't have to be awesome to need a helmet, but you also don't stop needing one once you are an OK skater. 

Please join me in complimenting every young child you see wearing their helmet. They look up to adults still biking or skating and they'll feel better about having to wear a helmet if they see adults doing it too, I think. I usually say, "awesome red helmet" (if it's red) or "cool helmet" or something like that. Sometimes I say "Good job wearing that helmet," but am not sure that's as effective as making it seem like it looks pro or cool wear one. 

Why my son will not be wearing a sledding helmet. - Slate Magazine -


Why my son will not be wearing a sledding helmet.
Slate Magazine
The doctors, parents, and safety consultants advocating for sledding helmets argue that the activity is fundamentally like bicycling, which makes helmets a ...

and more »

[Bicycling]

Comments

eebee's picture

Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust

Just saw this article's headline in the right column and thought it worth adding here, although I think you may have covered something similar before...

Breaking news! 

"As part of a national Helmet Watch initiative, a Sheffield teenager has been awarded a prize for wearing her cycle helmet whilst riding her bike."

A 14 year old Sheffield lass was stopped by a policeman as she rode her bike, wearing her helmet. The policeman told Emily Wright she had won a prize (but not before she was convinced she had done something wrong). Her name was also chosen later in a drawing and she won a camera. 

The program was created by British charity The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust, for 3 to 15 year olds in an effort of course to reduce brain injury and death while bike riding (or bike crashing).

"The response from all over the country has been amazing with forces from across the UK taking part including Devon and Cornwall, Kent, the Metropolitan Police Force, Merseyside, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire, Flintshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset, Nottinghamshire, Carmarthenshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Belfast and Glasgow as well as South Yorkshire”.

Interesting. A company I used to work for, with all its cringeworthy similarities to Office Space's "Initech", used to try to come up with various incentives to chivvy us drones into working harder, better, in- and outside the box simultaneously. One such rewards-based effort had a senior exec walking around handing people $40 cash on the spot whenever he caught them doing something that was for the good of the company.

roadskater's picture

Police Giving Tickets for Helmet Wearing

I'm not sure if I wrote about it or just uberyakked it, but I heard of some police force that was giving tickets (in the northeast USA I believe) to kids wearing helmets. The tickets turned out to be good tickets...good for ice cream I think it was. I'd like to be able to hand out that kind of tickets! 

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