Because it might just save your life one day!
Last week I couldn’t believe what I was reading, when I read a newspaper article on a top neurosurgeons thoughts on whether or not it is worth wearing helmets when cycling and in his ‘educated’ opinion it isn’t!
I could not believe the irresponsibility of publishing such an article. In my humble opinion it was totally reckless as it could influence peoples decision on whether or not they choose to wear a bicycle helmet.
I am a regular cyclist and would not even contemplate cycling without wearing my helmet. In my mind it is just not worth the risk not too. My brain is far too important to me. The same applies to my children.
Broken bones can mend and even if they don’t mend as expected I can still live a quality life with a limp, a weakness or a lost limb. I may not be happy about it, but I would like to think that once I have realised just how lucky I was not to end up on a marble slab in a mortuary, that I would dig deep and try my best to get on with life.
However hard physical injuries are to get over I am sure that a brain injury would be much harder. And with a brain injury there is a very good chance of long-term brain damage and even death.
Maybe my bicycle helmet won’t save me in a major accident, but in the case of a lesser accident it could make all the difference.
I remember reading an article a few years back about how a little girl had been knocked off her bicycle by a car and it was her bicycle helmet that had saved her from certain death.
There was a sad case here on Zakynthos, where a young boy was on the back of a stationary quad bike when he accidentally fell off, hit his head and died. The boy hadn’t been wearing a helmet of any sorts, the quad bike was not moving and yet the boy still died. Which is all I need to know to make me want to wear a bicycle helmet when cycling.
There was also quite a recent case in the UK that I remember, of a 17 year old boy who was knocked off his bicycle by a van. The boy was not wearing a cycling helmet at the time as he did not want to ruin his hair style! Luckily he did live, but he was in a coma for quite some time and has suffered brain damage, which has changed not only his life, but the life of his family forever. His parents are fighting now to make it law to wear cycling helmets when riding a bicycle and good luck to them.
To be honest I did already think that it that cyclists had to wear helmets by law in the UK. When I was at school there a few years back – and the rest! – safety awareness for cyclists was a big thing. I remember doing my cycling proficiency at school and everyone wearing helmets, maybe that would explain our lack of hairstyles back then.
I like to get my children to read those articles and I even got them to read the one where the top neurosurgeon said that in his experience whether or not you wear a bicycle helmet makes no difference and does not save lives. I also let them know how stupid an article it was and that even if there is only the slightest chance that wearing a bicycle helmet could save our lives or prevent brain damage, then it is worth wearing one. Some things are just not worth gambling with.
After all we don’t transport our laptop around with no protection as a knock could damage the internal workings, so why avoid wearing a bicycle helmet? Our brain is the best and most advanced computer we will ever own and they don’t cost us a penny. A knock on the head could easily disrupt the internal workings in our brain.
Regardless of what a top neurosurgeon irresponsibly said last week in the papers, it’s still important to wear a bicycle helmet….It may just save your life or help prevent or minimize brain damage.
I am aware that there is a chance that the surgeon was misquoted, in which case I am sure there will be a follow-up article apologizing for the newspapers mistake….Watch this space…Or maybe not.
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Bicycle helmets do not cost a fortune, but I would recommend buying the best you can afford. There are plenty of reputable brands making helmets that are designed for men, women and children in mind.
After an exceedingly busy week I have finally got this post off my chest. It really has been niggling at me since I read the article.
Do you wear a helmet when cycling? Do you insist that your children wear helmets regardless of if wearing one is uncool? Let me know in the comments below….
Copyright © 2014 Debbie Roberts
© 2014, Debbie. All rights reserved.