The other day, Sebastian and Arielle were playing at their friend’s house just around the block.  They hadn’t been there very long when Sebastian came home to tell me that Arielle was riding her scooter without her helmet.  Normally I would have told him to go away and stop tattle telling but not wearing a helmet was important business.
“Why isn’t she wearing it?” I asked.
“Because her friends don’t have to…… plus she says it isn’t cool.”
Wearing a helmet isn’t cool.  I knew this would come up at some point but hadn’t thought it would be before the age of 12!
Before I could storm out of the house to find her she rode up to the house – hair flying behind her in the wind because of course she wasn’t wearing a helmet.
“Why are you not wearing a helmet?” I demanded.
“Oh because I forgot.”
Really? That was her best?
“Hmmm one doesn’t forget a helmet Arielle.”
“Well it’s only a scooter not my bike.” She challenged.
“Yes well it has wheels, it’s a vehicle you are riding, you wear a helmet or no scooter.”
“But no one else wears one with their scooters! It’s so un cool!”
BINGO!
“Well it wouldn’t be very cool if you fell and cracked open your head.  Helmet or no scooter, that’s the rule. Like or leave it.”
After this episode though I really started to take note and was shocked to see many children in our neighbourhood under the age of twelve riding scooters AND bikes – without a helmet!  In fact I saw at least three on the way to school this morning!
What is the deal?  Did I miss something? I thought it was the law to wear a helmet?  Call me a mean mama but this is one rule I refuse to budge on.
scooter.jpg
What about your children? Do they wear helmets when riding a scooter or bike? 
Until next time,
Chantel, momof8crazymonkeys
  • ChilliFan

    Hi Chantel,

    I think schools and kids activity groups could do more to promote wearing helmets so there’s less stigma felt for wearing them. I think things are a bit different these days in as much as society on the whole is more used to wearing safety gear for cycling, skating, riding scooters etc.

    Around my locale here in the UK a lot of the younger children are actually pretty comfortable wearing helmets on bikes, scooters and skateboards. Not that all of them are wearing them but it’s a fairly even split between those that do and don’t. Whether it’s riding by the beach, the local recreation grounds, in the city centre or the skatepark.

    Most of the stores selling the scooters are also featuring safety gear prominently which helps and in most cases the designs are pretty exciting to look at http://www.micro-scooters.co.uk/accessories-type-helmets.html I’ve got a soft spot for the pirate one myself.

    My 3 year old nephew came to visit a couple of weeks ago and he’d not long got a balance bike and a helmet with it. We have access to a locked car park at the weekends so we were able to let him ride around there. I got my bike out and put my helmet on to join in the fun, we had a few races together along with his dad. In this case were making a big deal out of leading by example. Even his grandfather joined in, when he took a couple of minutes out and took his helmet off he made a show of ‘accidentally’ bumping his head on the wall. My nephew was quick to tell “silly grandad” off for not having his helmet on.

    I guess when they’re that young it’s a lot easier to influence them into that way of thinking. When they want to be a rebel no amount of persuasion will seem to work.

  • Chantel

    Jason and Nicole thanks so much for your responses. With eight kiddies running all over the place I agree it is so hard (okay for me impossible) to watch them 24/7 – although a few of the younger ones still think I have eyes on the back of my head so all is safe with them lol! Jason I totally agree with the age thing – my little diva being only 8 is still at the point where she listens to me – most of the time . My 12 yr old boy has aspergers and is so rule oriented he wouldn’t even think of not wearing one because it would of course be breaking the rules. As for my 14 yr old – well like you said we can only hope they hear our voices in the back of their minds when we are out of site:)

  • Jason Petry

    Hi Nicole,
    I agree, it is impossible to keep our eyes on our kids 24/7 – it sure would be nice if we could, especially while they are young.
    I know my wife worries about whether or not the boys have their helmets on at all times as well. They are 12 & 14 and getting to the age that it “isn’t cool” and who knows what happens when they are out of our sight and out riding with friends.
    I guess all we can do is hope they listen to us and hear our voices in the back of their mind when we aren’t with them!
    Thanks for your response, this is a great topic for discussion.
    Jason

  • Chantel

    You are right Jen you are “That” parent but I totally appreciate your honesty. I know many parents who agree with you and maybe it is also an age thing?

  • Chantel

    LOL Nope your guys were good:)

  • Nicole Alves

    Jason,
    You are right, I was judgmental and I looked back at what I had written and I think I meant to say that I think those children that don’t wear helmets, particularly when riding bikes (which is law I believe) is irresponsible. However, as I think on your comment, we are not with our kids 24/7 and we all know kids find a way around things/rules. So, we parents may have thes wonderful safety rules, but kids don’t always follow, therefore, it may not be the parents, but the kids being kids. Regardless, I am glad that I could provide a good giggle.
    Judgementally yours,
    Nicole ;O)

  • Jason Petry

    I agree it is important for our children to wear helmets. And I appreciate all the various types of opinions posted here.
    It made me giggle @Nicole Alves (posting above) that she stated she isn’t judgemental, but then indicates that parents that don’t enforce the same rules as she are irresponsible. Perhaps you are are judgemental!

  • Jen

    This is obviously not going to be a popular comment but I disagree. I don’t do helmets on scooters. Bikes, yes. It is the law for one thing and also they are going faster and the risk of getting hit by a car is greater.
    However, I try and be moderate with most of these things because we live in a society of fear. Everything is scary and risky and dangerous and I just don’t want my kids living their lives that way. If they are responsible, safe and skilled at the scooter what chance is there that they are going to hit their heads bad enough to need a helmet? On a scooter? Very little. Yes, there is risk but it is low and, honestly, there is risk everywhere, always. Where do we draw the line? I don’t want my children to see fear around every corner. I want them to be able to measure the risk and make smart choices while still taking chances. If we were trying to avoid all possibility of danger all of the time they would never leave the house.
    I guess I am “that” parent :)

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  • Liesl

    “A friend’s house around the block”
    Was that my place? – Was my son wearing his helmet? LOL
    No helmet = No wheels …any time and every time…..

  • Tracey

    I agree – no helmet? No wheels of any kind. I don’t care who isn’t wearing what.
    I admit it is tough to enforce it all the time – they change their minds about what they want to play every 2 minutes, so one minute it’s bikes, then ditching helmets and bikes for soccer instead, then it’s onto a scooter (Helmet! Helmet!!) and then it’s on the swings, then the slide, then the bike again (HELMET!!) then something else… oy.
    This job is exhausting.

  • Amreen

    It’s non-negotiable in our house. no helmet means no bike or scooter. I totally agree with your stance on this! you could do the demo with a watermelon – i saw someone drop one on the road once to illustrate what happens to your head. It was quite effective.

  • Nicole Alves

    I COMPLETELY agree with you this Chantel. The rule in our house is helmets on for bikes, scooters and roller blades (not that they have roller blades, but I would make them wear it). I haven’t heard the ” it isn’t cool” excuse yet….it’s more like I couldn’t be bothered to remember to put it on. I also try to set the example by wearing my helmet always (and I don’t much like it either, but…..I like my pretty head intact) everytime I go out on my bike with the girls. I, personally think it is a little irresponsible of parents that don’t enforce this (not trying to be judgemental, but….). I have known people who have had wipeouts on bikes, scooters and rollerblades who were grateful that they had their helmets on. BTW….they still had mild concussions, not to mention the road rash from the fall. I, also thought it was the law. But, besides that, I like my children’s heads intact. So…..helmets ON always!

  • Maria

    My 8 year old doesn’t think it’s cool either & I also see many kids riding bikes without them, it is so annoying when you are trying to make sure your kids are safe & other parents are not. We have enough hurdles, it would be so helpful if parents were all on the same page about some things but I guess this is part of life…the challenges of parenting!

  • Sara

    I’ll be totally honest….I seem to be more lax on helmet on scooter which is RIDICULOUS! Thanks for the reminder – I’ll be way more vigilant! Sidenote – last night I saw a guy on a bike – no helmet but a safety reflector vest on ???? Dumb..

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