10 Reasons for your child to wear a helmet
The Helmet Issue: One Mom's View
By TL Perkins
I don't wear a helmet. There are plenty of reasons (can't hear, too bulky, not fashionable, don't go fast enough, etc., etc.). I've been skiing (gulp) 35 years. That's a long time without a helmet to get used to one. But that hasn't changed my view of why my kids DO wear helmets. There are plenty of reasons to get your child in a helmet from the get-go. Here are a few:
My son started skiing when he was three and a half years old. He spent the first day in Mighty Mites without a helmet (we weren't sure he was old enough). He came home happy and determined. "Mom, you have to get me a helmet. All the kids have helmets."
Reason 1: Peer pressure
Day two my son spent learning to ride the lift. The coaches set him up and gave him a shove. He started to slide sideways and was just about on the ground, but not quite. The lift op wasn't quick enough slowing the lift down. BONK! The chair hit him square in the head. The helmeted head. Not even a tear.
Reason 2: Lift safety
Soon the kids were cruising the halfpipe. They weren't getting air, but catching some linked turns and small vert. The big guys were nailing some rodeos nearby. Then BAM!, a very rad dude, caught an edge and careened into the small pipe. Took out the entire class. Everyone had helmets and there were no injuries.
Reason 3: Big rad snowboard dudes with big boards
It rained hard. Got some slush, then a cold front moved in. Lots of ice. Lots and lots of ice. My daughter was used to packed powder. Didn't think much of the ice. Especially on the main run down the mountain. Some called it the "death slide". Screeeechhh...
Reason 4: Varied snow conditions
The kids liked to play follow the leader on snow. My five-year-old was often the leader. But she wasn't content to just lead, she wanted to know if the kids were following. She spent a lot of time looking over her shoulder until one day, BAM!, when she hit a snow gun (off). Big scratches on the helmet, small scratch on her face. No tears.
Reason 5: Unmarked (and marked) obstacles on the trail
Every year the Mighty Mites have a jump contest. My eight-year-old wanted to win. He "hucked" big in practice. Then came the final jump. Big..Big.. Bigger... BONK! He went down hard. Helmet in one piece. No trip to the hospital.
Reason 6: Eight-year-old boys
"I want the leopard helmet. It's just like Chad Fleisher's hair." "I want the red, white and blue one. It's American." "I like the purple one, it matches my suit."
Reason 7: To make a fashion statement
"I can't sell that helmet at the ski swap. It's got Tomba's signature. And Picabo. And Tommy Moe."
Reason 8: Groupies need a place for their idols to sign.
It was snowing hard. And blowing. Wisps of my hair were frozen to my hat. I asked the kids if they were cold. "Cold? No, there's steam coming out of my helmet vents."
Reason 9: To stay warm
"Mom, are you going to get a helmet?"
Reason 10: Because their mom doesn't wear a helmet.
For every scratch or nick, there's another reason to get your kids in helmets from day one.
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