“Bottom line – wear a helmet,” says Jed Williamson. As editor of Accidents in North American Mountaineering, a round up serious climbing accidents intended to help climbers learn from others mistakes, Williamson should know. According to the long-time editor, the third leading cause of accidents is falling rocks or objects
The data is irrefutable, but I don’t want to be told when or where I have to wear a helmet. I also wear one regularly. Sometimes.
I’m guessing a lot of you out there are a bit like me. When you turn a self-examining eye to your habits, you find there’s little rhyme to your slap-dash reasoning. I always wear a lid mountain biking, but only sometimes when I’m riding through city traffic. Always when I snowboard. As a climbing writer I’ve heard enough climbing accident stories to last a lifetime, and yet I’d estimate that 75 percent of the time I don’t wear a hard hat.
We may have bizarre rationales, but when it comes to kids I’m willing to bet that on average you’re not quite as loose about the brain bucket. Take for instance this study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. They concluded that a rider with a helmet reduced his or her risk of head injury by 85 percent. Children suffer the majority of serious head injuries in bike accidents.
I’m curious. How do you approach it when it comes to your kids? If you’re top roping do they wear a helmet? What about when they’re cruising the street on their two-wheeled, flying machines a.k.a. their bikes? It leads us to the age-old parenting conundrum: why is one behavior acceptable for adults and yet not for children especially if we teach by example? What is it about helmets that we just don’t like?
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