Friday, January 27, 2012

Helmets are healthy

I am tired of reading comments from people about how they never wore a helmet when they were kids and they turned out just fine.  I never wore a helmet as a child, I am fine, and I consider myself extremely lucky.  Choosing to not put a helmet on a child for this reason is plain silly, I'd like to use another word, but we'll leave it as silly.

Head injuries and spinal cord injuries are not to be brushed off lightly.  They are extremely serious and can be fatal.  Case in point:  Sarah Burke.  Beloved Canadian half-pipe skier who recently succumbed to her injuries after a training accident.  She sustained injuries so severe, wearing a helmet (which she was) didn't even matter.

You're not a stunt skier?  Not relevant.  Even a mild-moderate fall without even a bump necessarily, can be fatal.  Over.  Lights out for good.  Remember Natasha Richardson??  Concussions, whiplash, all part of the same family of head injuries.  A good hard shake is enough to cause brain swelling or bleeding.  If wearing a helmet during recreational skiing, snowboarding, skating, tobogganing, skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, can protect your brain, to me, that's a no-brainer.  You think strokes are only for the elderly?  Think again. 

Acquired brain injuries and spinal cord injuries leave permanent physical impairments.  Spastic muscles, vision impairment, loss of speech/communication, loss of mobility, loss of ability to eat, loss of bowel/bladder control.  I am not a doctor, but I see it everyday.  No one in my business would wish this on anybody.  They gladly strap helmets on themselves and their little ones because they have seen what can happen.  These types of injuries cost our health care system millions of dollars every year.  Not only for hospital treatment, but for rehab services like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, wheelchairs, adapted equipment.

Helmets don't protect from all injuries, but they sure don't hurt.

Protect your brain, it's the only one you've got.  

1 comment:

  1. I was knocked unconscious so many times as a child. Once I even suffered complete memory loss for a short time. I'm lucky that I didn't get more seriously hurt!