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To think wearing a helmet should be compulsory?

(80 Posts)
benfoldsfive Tue 01-Apr-14 10:55:12

Incident This morning sparked a debate with my dh. my ds is in year 2 (so 6/7 years old). His class mate Road into the play ground on his bmx, pulled a skid, clipping my pram in the process and went over the handle bars. Narrowly missing the corner of the wall. His mum was no where to be found so I dusted him off and told the teacher what happened. His mother arrived about 5 min after incident and was told by teacher that riding a bike on school grounds is prohibited by the school. mother then says " you have to tell him because he won't Listen to me". Am I being unreasonable in thinking that helmets for any age sound be compulsory? Dh brought up making it compulsory enhances nanny state measures and I compared it to wearing a seat belt. Aibu?

WorraLiberty Tue 01-Apr-14 10:59:12

YANBU I suppose but I would have hated to be made to wear one as a kid, riding round in the park.

withextradinosaurs Tue 01-Apr-14 10:59:37

I've bounced my head off the tarmac while wearing a crash helmet, I have no desire to try it without protection!

withextradinosaurs Tue 01-Apr-14 11:00:43

That doesn't answer the question, does it!

I think the evidence isn't clear-cut enough for compulsion.

spokeswoman Tue 01-Apr-14 11:07:35

My son lost control of his bike ,flipped over a low wall ,through a hedge and landed in the river below wth his head on a rock.There was a large dent in his helmet and it makes my heart race thinking what would of happened to him if he wasn't wearing a helmet.

sashh Tue 01-Apr-14 11:16:10

Mum chaining the bike up so he can't take it to school would be more reasonable. Or her actually controlling her child.

bragmatic Tue 01-Apr-14 11:20:23

I'm convinced by the evidence. My children wear them.

TravelinColour Tue 01-Apr-14 11:21:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aGirlDownUnder1 Tue 01-Apr-14 11:22:51

YANBU. I'm surprised that they're not compulsory in the UK. Here in NZ they've been compulsory since the mid 00s and you get a ticket if your an adult and not wearing one.

Primary schools here also get the police to come in and talk to the dc about road/bike safety. Ever since DD was shown some shocking pictures of injuries caused by bike crashes, she's always worn a helmet.

RiverTam Tue 01-Apr-14 11:24:57

I read somewhere (this is with regard to adults more than children, I think - specific to road cycling) that cars drive more carefully around cyclists that don't have a helmet on, as they look more vulnerable. No idea if it's true, it's not a theory I'd care to test out myself!

ikeaismylocal Tue 01-Apr-14 11:26:27

I think it should be a legal requirement for children to wear them, those people with kids who don't want to wear them wouldn't I assume allow their children to travel in a car without seatbelts just because the child made a fuss.

Latara Tue 01-Apr-14 11:36:04

2 of my (adult) friends have had minor injuries from cycle accidents; both saved from serious head injuries by cycle helmets which were dented badly in the incidents.

The photos I saw of the helmets would convince anyone that cycle helmets should be compulsory.

Braganza Tue 01-Apr-14 11:38:06

Of course it should be compulsory. Children lack the experience to assess risk properly which affects both their decision on whether to wear a helmet or not and the way they ride. I find it hard to believe that anyone really believes what they post, claiming that not wearing a helmet is in any way safer. If parents won't take responsibility for making themselves an example for their children, then we need a nanny state to do it.

This site is pretty comprehensive in debunking myths about helmets

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 01-Apr-14 11:40:44

YABU. Looking at the population as a whole compulsory helmet wearing results in poorer health outcomes.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 01-Apr-14 11:42:38

From your link Brazanga

Fact 5: There's a big difference between helmet promotion and helmet discouragement. Despite the proven protective effect of helmets, helmet laws mandating their use are a bad idea for the reasons outlined below.

Melonade Tue 01-Apr-14 11:44:50

I think the good that is done by combatting the problems caused by lack of exercise in children is more than the risks of not wearing a helmet, as such a requirement would act as a deterrent to cycling - that short trip to the shops, for instance.

Cycle helmets can also cause serious neck injuries in certain types of fall and have been linked with life changing outcomes, such as paralysis.

Melonade Tue 01-Apr-14 11:48:41

I'd also be worried that it would encourage some drivers to driver more carelessly - believing that hitting a cyclist would have less serious consequences because they are wearing a helmet, or even driving less carefully around non-helmet wearers, because they think they should be wearing a helmet.

PavlovtheCat Tue 01-Apr-14 11:49:38

My friend's 5yr went over his handlebars and flattened his nose, smashed his helmet. The doc at the hospital said that the helmet may well have saved his life as the helmet had hit a curb with force.

DD has fallen off her bike and hit her head hard on the floor, might or might not have caused a serious injury if not wearing it, I was not prepared to have taken that chance to find out. She does not consider it to be uncool as all her peers wear one, but also, there is no choice, no arguments, it's clear cut - if she wants to ride her bike, she wears her helmet. If she doesn't want to wear her helmet she obviously doesn't want to ride her bike. It has always been non-negotiable like holding hands across the road, wearing a seatbelt, sitting on a booster seat. It's not open for discussion.

PavlovtheCat Tue 01-Apr-14 11:49:46


Braganza Tue 01-Apr-14 11:56:13

Itallgoingtobefine the article is written by someone arguing against helmet laws. I don't agree with the arguments, but it stands as a good resource for debunking any myths that it is not safer to wear one. If you find the argument that personal choice is more important that saving children - who can't make the decision for themselves- from harm, then that's up to you. Freedom of choice is not always the best option where there is an inequality of information.

MajorGrinch Tue 01-Apr-14 12:00:34

Cyclists take less care when wearing helmets, half of them don't have them correctly fitted, in some cases the helmet has made things worse. The straps can be a hazard if the helmet is caught in something.

I wear a helmet when out & about on long rides, less so for in-town rides.

I wholeheartedly think that the decision should rest with the individual (or parent) - there are already far too many laws as it is....

MajorGrinch Tue 01-Apr-14 12:03:39

If parents won't take responsibility for making themselves an example for their children, then we need a nanny state to do it.

No, we don't.

Absolute Tosh - the state already interferes far too much as it is.

HolidayCriminal Tue 01-Apr-14 12:04:29

I thought this was going to be about compulsory wearing helmets inside cars or on any land-based motor vehicle (boats, too). The evidence base is enormous for the potential benefits for that. Should be much higher priority campaign to enforce a law in this area than scooters or non-motorised vehicles.

littleducks Tue 01-Apr-14 12:09:58

Honestly I'm not entirely sure where I stand on helmets.

How're in struggling to see what that had to do with the child in the OP. Surely the more pressing issues for him are 1. Remain in sight of parent 2. Not to ride in a pedestrian areas like a playground 3. To ride slowly and carefully around others particularly those less able to move like the OP with her pram

Melonade Tue 01-Apr-14 12:10:37

Well, yes HolidayCriminal. The number of pedestrians that fall and sustain head injuries is never talked about. An old lady fell down some steps outside my local shop the other week and fractured her skull. And the OP was pushing a pram, with a baby inside.

Clearly it would be safer for all of them to wear a helmet. Especially when you take into account the fact that many cyclists will have better balance and muscle control than some pedestrians who do not exercise.

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