Friday, March 20, 2009

The Importance of Helmets

With the tragic news of Natasha Richardson's freak accident and untimely death, I'm reminded of the importance of helmets (bicycle, motorcycle, skiing, contact sports).

I don't know why Ms. Richardson didn't, or wasn't required to wear a helmet, but for whatever reason, this "simple" oversight cost the life of a notable actress, wife (Liam Neeson), mother of two sons, and daughter (her mother, Lynn Redgrave survives).

I've heard the "not so logical" arguments that helmets are confining. "I like to feel the wind in my hair, on my face, stinging my eyes..." etc., but this is all ignorant hogwash, as far as I'm concerned.

Please understand, I'm not trying to place blame on Natasha Richardson or the ski resort. Far from it. This was a fluke, but I'm still left wondering. Why wasn't she wearing a helmet?

What do you think? If this is not a requirement, should it be?

Check out this CNN article about how skiers can cut risk by wearing a helmet.

Or this Time Health & Science Article: Could A Helmet Have Helped?

How do you feel about this argument? Have you read articles to the contrary; that helmets are unnecessary? Please let us know your opinion.

Mary Cunningham

Quake - Shakin' Up Young Readers!

Mary Cunningham Books

Cynthia's Attic Blog


Regan Black said...

The thing about helmets is you never think it'll happen to you.

I was ice skating with my kids and my daughter came racing across to hug me. I had enough time to brace myself, but not enough time to help control the impact. We both went down, and I was more worried about her (we landed on her arm), but everyone else was worried about me. As my head was ringing all I thought was wow - this is why they wear helmets. It was hours before I fully understood that the fall had knocked me out- apparently for some time. That was the same type of fluke injury that could've been tragic.

The good news - I was fine. The 'bad' news is I still don't wear a helmet for a casual skate, but I'm hyper aware of things on the ice. Maybe if I don a helmet, I'll be able to relax and enjoy myself more.


Mary Cunningham said...

So glad things turned out fine for you, Regan. I can imagine not wanting to wear a helmet for a casual skate, bike ride, etc. But, I'm going to have to reconsider after this tragedy.

I believe we all owe it to ourselves and our families to stay safe.

Jacquelyn Sylvan said...

I actually get made fun of by friends, and even my husband, for my refusal to leave my bicycle helmet behind on a ride. Hey, it's my head. It's where I keep all my important stuff. (Not to mention if we lost MY brain, my hubby would never be able to find anything in our house ever again).

Mary Cunningham said...

Good to hear, Jacquelyn. Glad you're taking such good care of your brain! You need it to write all those good books, and to help your hubby find his socks, the peanut butter, car keys...

Gayle Carline said...

I give horseback riding lessons, and we require all of our children to wear helmets, but we leave it as a choice for the adults. I typically don't wear a helmet when I ride, for a couple of reasons: I ride exclusively in my trainer's arena, which has soft footing; I ride western, in a big saddle, on a quiet Quarterhorse; and when I've fallen (quite a few times), I've needed the helmet on a completely different part of my anatomy.

Will I start wearing a helmet now? Doubt it... unless they start making helmets for tushes.

Gayle Carline

Pam Ripling said...

It still surprises me that there is anything here to debate. To me, it's almost like arguing about whether one should smoke or not.


Diana Black said...

Many states don't require a motorcycle rider to wear a helmet. Wouldn't matter to me...Should I ever ride a "hog," I'll probably wear three!

Is it up to each adult to make the choice? (I'm a firm believer children should always wear a helmet...) Are we taking away their freedom? If a state allows a cycle rider to blow down the road sans helmet, then why can't that same person hop behind the wheel of a car without buckling up?

I'm not arguing one way or the other (expect for children.) I know what I feel safe doing, and what I would like my loved ones to do...

Where do we draw the line?

I'm deeply saddened by Natasha Richardson's passing, for her family, friends and fans.


Mary Cunningham said...

The "freedom" debate has been around since our forefathers. Times change, however, and I think the debate needs to keep up with societal changes.

And, let me know Diana, when you decide to ride that Hog! I'll get my camera!

Norm Cowie said...

I wear a helmet when I golf ... but that's more of an indictment of my golf game.


Mary Cunningham said...

I'd think the people in your foursome would need the helmets, Norm!