Parents are saying "no" to helmets

Parents are saying "no" to helmets

I bought my son a pair of Heelys—the shoes with built-in wheels. I've seen other kids zooming through airports and shopping malls in them and figured they would be easy to use.

At the same time, they do have wheels. And there are YouTube instructional videos, which means there must be a method to using them successfully. I figured that testing them wearing appropriate safety gear would make sense. After all, I'd have him wear pads and a helmet if he were roller blading.

He put on his helmet and tested the shoes in our kitchen. Sure enough, the shoes were tricky and my son ended up on his butt more than once.

It wasn't long before he decided it wasn't "cool" to wear a helmet in the kitchen and he stopped using the shoes altogether.

It turns out I'm part of a minority of parents who insist their kids wear helmets when skateboarding, skating, scootering or biking.

According to one survey, 40 percent of parents don't require their kids to wear helmets. Twenty-five percent of parents polled said their kids won't wear a helmet because it's uncomfortable or not cool.

This is despite the fact that injuries from wheeled activities send 40,000 kids to the ER in the U.S. each year.

While the number of emergency visits for bike and skateboard-related injuries fell between 2005 and 2015, visits for skate and scooter injuries increased.

We all know that helmets and safety gear are the best way to prevent injuries, including concussions. So why aren't more parents insisting their kids are protected when participating in all wheeled activities? Why would kids be more likely to wear a helmet to bike and skateboard, but not scooter and while sporting wheely shoes?

There are companies that make "cool" helmets they hope kids will want to use. But is there more we can do? Perhaps educate kids and parents about the risks?

Do you make your kids wear helmets? Do you have any advice for parents who are trying to get their kids to put one on?


Reply to
  • sue1907

    Our family rule - no helmet = no ride. Not worth it.

    • Mags A.

      If my son won't wear his helmet he doesn't ride, plain and simple!!

      • Kathryn P.

        In Ontario it is the law. Any child under the age of 17 must wear a helmet. This is for riding a bicycle. I'm sure it implies all wheeled activities.

        • Jennifer D.

          I'm mean. Helmet and knee and elbow pads for scooter, rollerblades etc...

          • Laura D.

            I had heelys when I was a kid and it's pretty much impossible to wipe out on them. They're shoes with a tiny wheel. If you slip back, the rubber on the heel stops you from falling. Would the kid have to wear a helmet anytime he wore his shoes? That seems a bit crazy.

            • Melissa P.

              Helmets for biking blading scooters tobogganing skiing and skating. Preventative measures. Have to protect their brains.

              • Heather J.

                Takes 20 seconds to put a helmet on... if you don't take that time you could live with regret over a terrible brain injury.. It's preventable... ask anyone who took the chance and loves with regret

                • Debbie-Leigh R.

                  A helmet is better than Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have had a severe blow or repeated blows to the head, later in life

                  • Sunny C.

                    With heelys no...bikes scooters etc.. yes

                    • Beverly D.

                      Whether it is "cool" doesn't matter to me. I think a big thing is "monkey see monkey do" I've seen lots of kids refuse to wear a helmet because parents don't wear helmets when they ride their bike.

                      • KaylaS

                        it is also the law here in B.C. and even if that were not the case, it would still be the law in our household. Always better safe than sorry. Our babies are precious and worth every moment of worry and protective measure to keep them as safe as possible. I'm happy to see so many others also use common sense and feel the same.