This entry was posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2010 at 5:18 pm and is filed under Bicycle helmet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
The mainstream media says the current brass monkey weather in the UK is causing “travel misery” but images of snowed-in cars and smug 4×4 owners are generally book-ended with shots of kids sledging their little hearts out, happy to be off school.
Of course, snow-related injuries are happening in great numbers. Mostly it’s ankle strains and limb breaks. Head injuries are also common. Sadly, at least two deaths have been reported from ice-linked falls.
“We have seen some injuries from sledging and those have often involved head injuries from collisions with people, trees, fences and lampposts.
“It is a type of injury we do not expect to see in such numbers and it is not the children, but their parents and grandparents who are coming off worst.
“A 10-year-old has softer bones and is falling from a lower height so can survive these impacts better.”
Dr John Heyworth, head of the Accident and Emergency department, Southampton General Hospital, BBC.co.uk, 11th January 2010
Despite head injuries, no MP is calling for compulsory head protection for youth sledgers. There’s no frothing at the mouth over the numbers of irresponsible OAPs doing their shopping without helmets, or wrist and ankle guards.
There’s a Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust but no Sledge Helmet Initiative Trust. Why not?
Why do certain individuals call for compulsory head protection for one faster-than-walking activity, but not another?
Parents who make their kids wear cycle helmets, don’t make them wear sledging helmets. I’m one of them…this is my boy sliding past a sledging injury:
Cycle helmet compulsionists have been known to argue that if mandation “saved just one life, it would be worth it.”
But those folks don’t clamour for iced-up pavement walkers to wear helmets. The “just one life” argument seems so watertight, but it’s not.
The wearing of cycle helmets (albeit generally badly-fitted helmets, of no use in a crash) is now relatively commonplace so most folks assume cycling is inherently risky. So risky they’ll not bother to start. Cycle helmets may have saved a few lives over the years but the perception they broadcast - that cycling is dangerous - prevents a greater take-up of what, in fact, is a healthy, life-prolonging activity, helmet or no helmet.
I know all this, yet still wear a helmet. When cycling, but not when sledging. When you think about it, this makes no sense but, then, an awful lot of bicycle helmet promotion is based on emotion rather than logic.