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Update on Mandatory Helmet Controversy - Page 4

post #91 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post



Ah, the "Quit if you don't like it" argument.  So, would "I think helmets are severely over-rated and I'm reasonably confident in my ability to avoid a helmet-preventable accident when I'm not wearing one and they get in my way at times when I really don't need that and sometimes they cause more problems than they solve" be weak?  
 

Yes, many jobs require wearing stuff on one's head that does not necessarily increase the worker's safety.
post #92 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

^^^

This type of purely emotional argument is pretty typical of support of mandatory helmets. 

I don't recall supporting mandatory helmet use.  I'm just not against it.  It's interesting to see how people argue, though.  The arguments are similar to those people used against mandatory seat belt use: uncomfortable; wrinkled their clothes; the law invades individual rights; I can determine whether I need a seat belt, etc.  That's all.  If, as an adult, you decide not to wear a helmet, ok.  The cost to society, in my opinion, is the cost of freedom.  On the other hand, I do think children, who have less experience, and who rely on adults for judgement, should be required to wear helmets -- but again, if you can toss off the death or disablement of your child, fine.  Your call.
post #93 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post ...It should be obvious by now that I really dislike wearing one unless I'm doing something that *I* believe warrants the extra protection.
 

OK, I get it.

I rarely leave my house without a helmet securely fastened to my head and I leave it on until I get home. Sometimes removed for lunch, but more often I just unbuckle it.  So I've gotten used to wearing a helmet. I've owned a few helmets that hurt my head, but most were comfortable. You may require a higher level of comfort while skiing than I do. I get a lot of pain in my legs and feet while skiing, but still enjoy it.
post #94 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post




I don't recall supporting mandatory helmet use.  I'm just not against it.  It's interesting to see how people argue, though.  The arguments are similar to those people used against mandatory seat belt use: uncomfortable; wrinkled their clothes; the law invades individual rights; I can determine whether I need a seat belt, etc.  That's all.  If, as an adult, you decide not to wear a helmet, ok.  The cost to society, in my opinion, is the cost of freedom.  On the other hand, I do think children, who have less experience, and who rely on adults for judgement, should be required to wear helmets -- but again, if you can toss off the death or disablement of your child, fine.  Your call.




 


Thanks for telling me I can toss off the death or disablement of my child.  That is again, while possibly not nice, typical of the emotive, if irrational, arguments used by mandatory helmet folk. 

Do you force your child to weat a helmet while at the playground or in the car?  If not, you are being illogical in your fixation on the helmet as savior in other pretty safe contexts such as skiing.  That's cool, like I said everyone makes their own choices.  It does not mean that people who choose differently, based on actual risk, are callous towards the welfare of their children.

As regards helmets, the evidence from motorcycle usage suggests there's no net cost to society, at all, from allowing people to choose whether to wear a helemt, or not.  No increase in fatality rate, no higher medical costs or disability rates.  Bike fatalities and serious head injuries went UP, not down, following wholesale helmet adoption. 

There's your rational evidence.  It doesn't mean that helmets are harmful per se and they may be a good idea in specific instances, as chosen by either 1) individuals, or 2) informed employers/patrols/etc. in an informed and nonheated environment. 

It does mean that they should not be prescribed from the outside by people making unthinking accusations that they need to do it "for the children" or some such.

DOES YOUR CHILD WEAR A HELMET AT THE PLAYGROUND.
post #95 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Ah, the "Quit if you don't like it" argument.  So, would "I think helmets are severely over-rated and I'm reasonably confident in my ability to avoid a helmet-preventable accident when I'm not wearing one and they get in my way at times when I really don't need that and sometimes they cause more problems than they solve" be weak?  

Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

Yes, many jobs require wearing stuff on one's head that does not necessarily increase the worker's safety.

 

As much as I appreciate your equating ski instructing/patrol with fast-food delivery, you're drifting somewhat here and didn't answer the question.  Although that was kind of what I expected.  
Edited by Bob Lee - 12/7/09 at 7:19am
post #96 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post





Thanks for telling me I can toss off the death or disablement of my child.  That is again, while possibly not nice, typical of the emotive, if irrational, arguments used by mandatory helmet folk. 

Do you force your child to weat a helmet while at the playground or in the car?  If not, you are being illogical in your fixation on the helmet as savior in other pretty safe contexts such as skiing.  That's cool, like I said everyone makes their own choices.  It does not mean that people who choose differently, based on actual risk, are callous towards the welfare of their children.

As regards helmets, the evidence from motorcycle usage suggests there's no net cost to society, at all, from allowing people to choose whether to wear a helemt, or not.  No increase in fatality rate, no higher medical costs or disability rates.  Bike fatalities and serious head injuries went UP, not down, following wholesale helmet adoption. 

There's your rational evidence.  It doesn't mean that helmets are harmful per se and they may be a good idea in specific instances, as chosen by either 1) individuals, or 2) informed employers/patrols/etc. in an informed and nonheated environment. 

It does mean that they should not be prescribed from the outside by people making unthinking accusations that they need to do it "for the children" or some such.

DOES YOUR CHILD WEAR A HELMET AT THE PLAYGROUND.

I totally agree with you. The science just isn't there to mandate helmets. Are they a good idea? Usually. Will they help prevent injury? Sure, although according to NSAA, "recent research has shown that the use of helmet reduces the incidence of any head injury by 30 to 50 percent, but that the decrease in head injuries is generally limited to the less serious injuries such as scalp lacerations, mild concussions (Grade I) and contusions to the head, as opposed to more serious injuries such as concussions greater than Grade II, skull fractures, closed head injuries and the like."

More facts and numbers here: http://www.nsaa.org/nsaa/press/facts-ski-snbd-safety.asp

Playing football, even with helmets, is proving to be way, way, way more hazardous to a kid's brain. Playing any sport, really, where there is contact is likely to be statistically more hazardous than skiing.

As for seatbelts, auto fatality rates have steadily decreased as seatbelt usage has increased. (I'm sure some of this is attributable to improvements in the way cars are built, too -- airbags, crumple zones, etc.) The same is not the case for skiing and helmets. Helmet usage has gone way up, and fatality rates have remained about the same. I'm not sure what the "serious injury" rate has done since helmet usage is up, though. Since the "serious injury" rate is less than 1 in a million skier visits (and much  less than that, if you aren't a young adult male), it's still a freak occurrence. Do we walk around wearing helmets to protect against every freak accident? Of course not.

Yes, I wear a helmet. Yes, my kids wear helmets. Do I think it's a horrible sin if someone chooses not to? Absolutely not.

I actually had my kids ski w/o helmets last spring, on a slushy June ABasin weekday, partly because I wanted them to experience skiing, and speed, without a helmet. I find it to be a different experience, b/c without a helmet, you are no longer insulated from the some of the sensations of speed and you feel a bit more vulnerable, which I think is a good reminder of what we're really doing out there. I am constantly telling the kids that helmets will not help a bit if they hit a tree going fast, which is the thing I fear most for them, not some freak head bang that could happen just as easily on the playground or in a minor car accident.
post #97 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


As much as I appreciate your equating ski instructing/patrol with fast-food delivery, you're drifting somewhat here and didn't answer the question.  Although that was kind of what I expected.  
 

Yes is an answer and I even tried to illustrate why I think so.

I've mentioned some of the things that were asked of me when I was an instructor, collar length hair, dark blue or black pants, white turtlenecks on weekends. Dictating the use of a helmet which may have some practical application makes at least as much sense to me as dictating the color of my base layer. Ski instruction is a service industry.

As far as I know, patrollers at my area were allowed to choose the color of their shirts and pants, and hairstyle. Patrollers perform an important function, but if I had to choose which I would rather do without, pizza delivery or ski patrol, I wouldn't have to think twice.
post #98 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

Yes is an answer and I even tried to illustrate why I think so.

I've mentioned some of the things that were asked of me when I was an instructor, collar length hair, dark blue or black pants, white turtlenecks on weekends. Dictating the use of a helmet which may have some practical application makes at least as much sense to me as dictating the color of my base layer. Ski instruction is a service industry.

As far as I know, patrollers at my area were allowed to choose the color of their shirts and pants, and hairstyle. Patrollers perform an important function, but if I had to choose which I would rather do without, pizza delivery or ski patrol, I wouldn't have to think twice.

Heh, you must eat a lot of pizza.  Are there any pictures of you here?  

OK, to recap: I asked my original question because I wanted to know if your "take this job and shove it" was the only answer you believed wasn't weak and to see if there was any point in discussing it with you, or if you were just going to follow form by giving ad hominem and obstinate replies.  It took a while, but we got there.  
post #99 of 165
 I can't tell if you're still dissing me or not, perhaps that's for the best.
Sure, there's lots of pictures of me here. I may have posted this one before
.
Edited by telerod15 - 12/7/09 at 4:38pm
post #100 of 165
 I'm the hot helmetless blonde on the beach cruiser in the background.
post #101 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post





Thanks for telling me I can toss off the death or disablement of my child.  That is again, while possibly not nice, typical of the emotive, if irrational, arguments used by mandatory helmet folk. 

Do you force your child to weat a helmet while at the playground or in the car?  If not, you are being illogical in your fixation on the helmet as savior in other pretty safe contexts such as skiing.  That's cool, like I said everyone makes their own choices.  It does not mean that people who choose differently, based on actual risk, are callous towards the welfare of their children.

As regards helmets, the evidence from motorcycle usage suggests there's no net cost to society, at all, from allowing people to choose whether to wear a helemt, or not.  No increase in fatality rate, no higher medical costs or disability rates.  Bike fatalities and serious head injuries went UP, not down, following wholesale helmet adoption. 

There's your rational evidence.  It doesn't mean that helmets are harmful per se and they may be a good idea in specific instances, as chosen by either 1) individuals, or 2) informed employers/patrols/etc. in an informed and nonheated environment. 

It does mean that they should not be prescribed from the outside by people making unthinking accusations that they need to do it "for the children" or some such.

DOES YOUR CHILD WEAR A HELMET AT THE PLAYGROUND.

Sorry if I spoke harshly.  It just feels weird to be called a paranoid safety freak for having reasonable concern for my child's safety.  Also -- maybe I haven't been clear -- I do not advocate mandatory helmet use.  I don't care either way.  Helmets don't bother me; they're kind of warm.  They're a little redundant in a car, I think.

I do think they're a good idea for children.  Most of the children I see on mountains wear them, just as most kids I see wear bike helmets.  Maybe it's stupid, I don't know.  I'm happy to see statistics prove that skiing is safe (though I think there are dissenters).  I don't plan to put my son in an armored safety suit with filtered air and a dome light.  On the other hand, yes, I do judge parents who let their children get hurt because they didn't put helmets on them -- since helmets are mostly the norm.  That's natural -- just as you seem to judge me for thinking a helmet should be standard equipment on a child. 

Also, as I said above, if there is a cost to society, perhaps that cost is a reasonable price to pay for liberty.  You'd hope that people would make good choices with their liberty, but they don't always.  You'd hope they'd make good choices for their children, too.

Now, as far as emotional arguments go -- they're pretty common, so don't discount them.  You're not, for instance, going to discretely kill off your parents because they're old and useless, and you could use the inheritance they're now spending on trips to Hawaii -- though that would be the rational thing to do; just business, as the mobster said.  You're prevented from this by emotional arguments: you love your parents, and/or you think it's morally wrong to kill them, or you're simply afraid of getting caught.  My putting a helmet on my son may be emotional, but that's ok, I think.  Again, I don't say you should be forced to put your kid in a helmet (though I really think you should do it on your own -- hoping you'll never have to face something really bad).

So sorry if I've insulted you.  But I don't get what's so terrible about helmets.  A helmet is like seat belts -- maybe useless, maybe not, but no big deal.  I don't understand the horror people have of helmets, and so far the arguments against them haven't seemed too persuasive.  If you're statistics are right, ok, it's a good point.  But statistics are funny, as you know.

 
post #102 of 165
Wear a helmet on yer knee.
post #103 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

 I'm the hot helmetless blonde on the beach cruiser in the background.


Those pesky anarchist bikers always try to ruin photo -ops for hot chicks.  Sorry Mz T  Cool bike . Is that one of those  way overpriced retros that  trendy suburbanites dig for a cruise around the city ?   Even cooler is your insistence of fashion over safety. Don't sell your values for any cause.

However that guy on that bike looks like he might be onto understanding the proper uses of safety equipment and the  sensibilities involved.
post #104 of 165
No, just a clunker I ride to work. Both of these photos courtesy of Joel Gwadz. See more at Gwadzilla@Blogspot.com. He took both of these pictures on the same occasion but got around to posting this one on his blog a lot sooner for some reason. 



I think you're wrong about that kook with the trailer. Notice he's listening to an iPod and his shoes are untied. He is riding in traffic because his helmet has given him a false sense of confidence.
Edited by telerod15 - 12/8/09 at 3:27am
post #105 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by g-force View Post

Wear a helmet on yer knee.




 

Good point. Because I am much more concerned with blowing a knee than cracking my skull, I don't think wearing a helmet makes me ski with greater abandon. I just like helmets. When I was a small boy, my favorite toy was an astronaut helmet. I usually wear hard shell knee pads while skiing.
post #106 of 165
Since you avoided the question, I guess you don't require your kids to wear a helmet while at the play ground.  Not only that, you admit you don't make your kids wear a helmet in the car.
Car accidents are a leading cause of brain injuries.
If you can toss off the death or disablement of your child, fine.  Your call.

I guess the question is who is responsible for looking at the situation (how many unguided missiles are hurtling down the slope my kid's about to ski on) and making a decision, the parent, or Big Brother.
post #107 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

Do you force your child to weat a helmet while at the playground or in the car?  If not, you are being illogical in your fixation on the helmet as savior in other pretty safe contexts such as skiing.  That's cool, like I said everyone makes their own choices.  It does not mean that people who choose differently, based on actual risk, are callous towards the welfare of their children.

DOES YOUR CHILD WEAR A HELMET AT THE PLAYGROUND.

If my child managed to hit 65mph in the playground, I would probably make him wear a helmet there.
post #108 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post




If my child managed to hit 65mph in the playground, I would probably make him wear a helmet there.
 


I seriously doubt some of you people ski.  Very few people who think they hit 65 mph actually hit 40.  But, a fall @ say 40 that results in a slide into racecourse netting, IF your skis release, can be pretty safe.  A fall out of a swingset that's out of control can be pretty dangerous. 

My older kid got in trouble a few times at school for "jumping contests" with other kids where they worked on jumping off of higher and higher playground fixtures.  This is normal kid limits-testing behavior but if it goes awry has obvious serious injury risk, just like ski racing.  It's an issue in playground design and the design of similar recreational structures.  Predictably, kids also "go bigger" on playgrounds with the new spongy surfaces.  If you gave them helemts I'm sure some kids would be sure to bring their high-top sneakers, lace them super-tight, helmet up and go bigger yet. 

Kids skiing 65mph on a routine basis likely are in a race program and are older.  Call me crazy on that one.  And their coaches will be most unhappy if they ski that fast on an open slope. 'Cuz @ 65 that helemt is basically zero protection if you take a trip into the trees, a lift tower, or hit someone else.
post #109 of 165
My view is that people who don't want to wear helmets shouldn't have to wear helmets.  But people who don't wear helmets should have to shoulder their fair share of the increased risk of injuries they face.  Maybe they should have to pay a health insurance surcharge.  Maybe there should be some sort of skiers' insurance, like car insurance.  Heck, we should all have to pay something to account for the risk we take on by skiing.  If we had to report the fact that we ski to our health insurance companies, you can be sure they would charge us more because we engage in a relatively risky recreational activity.  You can also be sure that insurance companies would start keeping track of who wears helments and who doesn't, and you can be sure you'd pay more not to wear one.  

And, there really shouldn't be much serious debate about whether ski helmets can help prevent injuries or reduce the economic impact of skiing-related injuries.  The studies are there.  Anyone can quibble with the studies, anyone can cite anecdotal examples of injuries that helmets wouldn't have prevented, and anyone can manipulate ski injury statistics to prove a point.  Obviously, helmets won't make you invincible.  They won't move trees out of your way.  They won't make you a better skier.  They won't improve your grades at school, get you a promotion at work, or make you last longer in the sack.  But instead of focusing on what they don't do, why don't we look at what they actually can do:

First, from JAMA:

Sulheim, et al., JAMA. 2006;295:919-924, presented a case-controlled study from 8 Norwegian resorts, which included over 3,200 injured patients and nearly 3,000 controls.  They found that "using a helmet was associated with a 60% reduction in the risk for head injury (odds ratio [OR], 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30-0.55; adjusted for other risk factors) when comparing skiers with head injuries with uninjured controls. The effect was slightly reduced (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.34-0.59) when skiers with other injuries were used as controls. For the 147 potentially severe head injuries, those who were referred to an emergency physician or for hospital treatment, the adjusted OR was 0.43 (95% CI, 0.25-0.77). The risk for head injuries was higher among snowboarders than for alpine skiers (adjusted OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.22-1.91)."  

Second, from ski-injury.com:

MacNab et al in 2002 published a case-control study to determine whether wearing a helmet protected young skiers and boarders against head injury. They looked at head, face and neck injuries in those aged less than 13 years and found helmets lead to a 43% reduction in the risk of head, face and neck injuries. Furthermore, they found that no serious neck injuries occurred as the result of wearing a helmet.

In February 2005, Hagel and colleagues from Canada published a case-control study in the British Medical Journal comparing 1082 skiers and snowboarders with head or neck injuries with 3295 skiers/boarders without head or neck injuries. They found that wearing a helmet reduced the risk of a head injury overall by 29%. For those who required ambulance transport, wearing a helmet reduced the risk of head injury by 56%. 693 people had head injuries - 69,7% of which were cases of concussion. Those with head injuries were more likely to have been injured as the result of a collision or jump. They found no associations between wearing a helmet and the occurrence of neck injuries. 
 

Shealy et al's 2008 publication concludes that “the salutary effect [of helmet usage] was limited to the less serious head injuries, such as scalp lacerations and mild concussions. No significant effect was noted for the more serious head injuries such as concussions more severe than mild, closed head injury, skull fracture and death due to head injury.”

And, there's a CPSC report on ski helmets, which you can find here: http://www.cpsc.gov/library/skihelm.pdf
 
So, if you're not going to wear a helmet, at least be honest with yourself and admit (like some people here already have) that you don't really care what the research shows, you just don't want to wear one.  As long as you pay an appropriate price for the risk you are willing to accept (so the rest of us aren't left footing more than our fair share of your bills in the event you suffer an otherwise preventable injury), I see nothing wrong with that. 

As a slightly unrelated topic, I was rather confused by this post:

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

As regards helmets, the evidence from motorcycle usage suggests there's no net cost to society, at all, from allowing people to choose whether to wear a helemt, or not.  No increase in fatality rate, no higher medical costs or disability rates.  Bike fatalities and serious head injuries went UP, not down, following wholesale helmet adoption.   

Most of the evidence I've ever seen on motorcycle helmets is to the contrary.  To wit (from http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/helmet_use.html):
  • A 1996 NHTSA study showed average inpatient hospital charges for unhelmeted motorcyclists in crashes were 8 percent higher than for helmeted riders ($15,578 compared with $14,377).
  • After California introduced a helmet use law in 1992, studies showed a decline in health care costs associated with head-injured motorcyclists. The rate of motorcyclists hospitalized for head injuries decreased by 48 percent in 1993 compared with 1991, and total costs for patients with head injuries decreased by $20.5 million during this period.
  • A study of the effects of Nebraska's reinstated helmet use law on hospital costs found the total acute medical charges for injured motorcyclists declined 38 percent.
  • A NHTSA evaluation of the weakening of Florida's universal helmet law in 2000 to exclude riders 21 and older who have at least $10,000 of medical insurance coverage found a huge increase in hospital admissions of cyclists with injuries to the head, brain, and skull. Such injuries went up 82 percent during the 30 months immediately following the law change. The average inflation-adjusted cost of treating these injuries went up from about $34,500 before the helmet law was weakened to nearly $40,000 after. Less than one-quarter of the injured motorcyclists would have been covered by the $10,000 medical insurance requirement for riders who chose not to use helmets.


The studies on bike helmets are much less conclusive.  Some studies show a reduction in head injuries of up to 85%.  Others show a much smaller, but still statistically significant correlation between helmet use and a reduction in cycling injuries and related health care costs.  One study shows a net reduction in overall injuries, but a small increase in fatalities.  Go figure.


 

post #110 of 165

^^^

 

Your motorcycle stuff is way off.  The ski studies/stats, read as a whole, show that the best evidence is ski helmets MAY help prevent cuts & bruises but not much else.  (I actually think it should logically be the reverse, given the way ski helemts are designed, but that's what the stats seem to say.)

 

Re: motorcycles, the treatment costs and fatality rates are actually about the same for helmet vs. no helmet. 

As helmet use on the slopes becomes nearly universal, wait for the NYT articles on an increase in serious head injuries and broken necks (because fullfaces will also become more popular) on the slopes.  And remember this discussion.

post #111 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post


I seriously doubt some of you people ski.  Very few people who think they hit 65 mph actually hit 40. 
I seriously doubt you know what you're talking about. He's a downhill racer.
post #112 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

^^^

 

Your motorcycle stuff is way off.  The ski studies/stats, read as a whole, show that the best evidence is ski helmets MAY help prevent cuts & bruises but not much else.  (I actually think it should logically be the reverse, given the way ski helemts are designed, but that's what the stats seem to say.)

 

Re: motorcycles, the treatment costs and fatality rates are actually about the same for helmet vs. no helmet. 


I saw that the first time you wrote it.  It isn't any more true now than it was then.  
post #113 of 165
^^Truth.
post #114 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeN2UZU View Post


I saw that the first time you wrote it.  It isn't any more true now than it was then.  
 
 
I'm afraid it's quite true.  That's why when states repeal mandatory helmet laws, the incidence of fatalities, etc. stays about the same, though the absolute rate of deaths, etc. goes up because more people ride.  It's a bummer for those who want to regulate mandatory helmet usage, but it's the experience in the real world.

As far as insurance, though, I have no problem if private insurers say they want to charge different rates based on helmet usage, specific sports participation, etc.  They in fact do already track these things, and for certain types of activity not only ask fairly detailed questions, but differ from company to company about what activities they care about and what questions they ask.  Including helmet usage.  I've experienced it firsthand, and I don't care. 

I have no problem with guilds (patrols, guide associations, fire departments) mandating certain safety standards.  I'm not going to tell a guide when to put his/her beacon in their pants pocket vs. not, and I'm not going to tell them, or a ski area employee, when they should or shouldn't wear a helmet.  I have a much better idea as to the answers to those questions than someone from OSHA, but a far worse idea than someone who actually does those roles.  Very simple.
post #115 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post



I seriously doubt you know what you're talking about. He's a downhill racer.
 

My friend, you posted "If my child managed to hit 65mph in the playground, I would probably make him wear a helmet there."  One might reasonably infer from this that you are asserting that children may often hit 65mph on the slopes and, as these are dangerous speeds (they are) need a helmet, while they don't at playgrounds.

Find these young children who as a group often hit 65.  Find these minors of any age who often do this on open slopes.......................................... 
Edited by CTKook - 12/8/09 at 4:12pm
post #116 of 165
Ski helmets reduce the risk from negligible to 70% of negligible.  Big Deal.  Instead of wasting your money on buying the family 5 ski helmets, you should buy a better set of tires for your car.
Edited by Ghost - 12/8/09 at 6:23pm
post #117 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Since you avoided the question, I guess you don't require your kids to wear a helmet while at the play ground.  Not only that, you admit you don't make your kids wear a helmet in the car.
Car accidents are a leading cause of brain injuries.
If you can toss off the death or disablement of your child, fine.  Your call.

I guess the question is who is responsible for looking at the situation (how many unguided missiles are hurtling down the slope my kid's about to ski on) and making a decision, the parent, or Big Brother.

Ouch.  Scorn.

 I mean, whatever.  Some parents are capable of making good decisions for their kids.  Some parents aren't.  Some kids die because their parents make lousy decisions.  It's the kids' fault for choosing those parents, I guess -- but there might be a better way.  Big Brother might know better, Ghost, than some vodka-blasted alky.  I suppose you'd object to government interference in that case, but I'm not so sure.

The question -- which, by the way, I'd answered earlier -- about cars and helmets: the car is a ton of metal; it makes an excellent helmet.  An impact that would cause a significant head injury is going to be pretty significant, and there isn't much to be done.  

Life is a balance.  Did you read that earlier?  A helmet on a ski slope (warm and snug) isn't such an awful thing.  Not like eminent domain.

Re: the playground.  They're low enough risk that an insurance safety officer I know (you know, the paranoid kind?) had no trouble with them.  No helmet necessary.  Freak accidents happen.  As I said, I'm not putting the kid in an armored suit.

I've already apologized for being harsh.  It was wrong.

Now the incivility is on your side. To paraphrase someone else, this is the kind of nastiness the anti-helmet people get into.  You're afraid of people telling you what to do, apparently.  Ok.  If you'd read what I wrote (did you?) -- I said I have no interest in forcing you to wear a helmet.  I just don't care if I'M forced to wear a helmet.  

All I'm interested in, Ghost, is the kinds of arguments people are making. 
post #118 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post




...Re: the playground.  They're low enough risk that an insurance safety officer I know (you know, the paranoid kind?) had no trouble with them.  No helmet necessary.  Freak accidents happen.  As I said, I'm not putting the kid in an armored suit...

 


This is correct.  Playground falls are one of the leading causes of brain injury for young chidren (as kids get a bit older bikes outstrip playgrounds) but because the actual risk is pretty low a helmet isn't warranted.  The head injury risk presented by skiing and riding falls in that same category.  Most of us actually do know someone, if we stop to think of it, whose kid got hurt at the playground.  All of us, including the parents of kids who do get hurt at playgrounds, are aware that there is a risk associated with playground falls.

We don't judge the parents who were unlucky enough for their kid to get hurt.  We don't insinuate that they're vodka-blasted alkys.  We don't mention that someone's kid suffered a concussion falling out of a swing and that "their parent hadn't bought them a helmet." 
post #119 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

Is it fair to assume that at some point your helmet-wearing was an outgrowth of acting as a role model for your kids?  Also wrapped up in that is your obligation and responsibility to stay as healthy as possible to continue to help and support your family. 

In other words, if you didn't have that wonderful family, do you think you would wear a helmet as much?

May I also reply?

a) Yes, in Italy it is compulsory for kids and teen under age 14 to wear an helmet while skiing.
    I made my sons wear an helmet well before the law was passed but now they're over 14, they still prefer to wear one.
    And I felt a bit hypocritical not wearing one, especially as they were growning older were beginning to ask me why I was not .
b) The final straw toward convincing me to buy one was that since 2005  I'm assuming anticoagulants.
    So, better to reduce the force of possible impacts on my melon, least a blow would start a non stoppable bleeding or worse..
c) I want to continue to ski, cycle, skate, in short, to practice sports other than on the WII, and if the price for that is to to take risks and  wear protections to a reasonable extent, then ok, I'll do it.

d)Had I not had a family? Don't know, I don't like the whole "race replica" thing that goes on, everyone here (in Ittaly) seems that want to wear Hermann's helmet or look like a racer, be it on skis, on a motocross, on a speed bike, on a car...
I spent a lot of time to find an helmet that was not "race look-a-like" which I liked.
Still I can't answer this for sure one way or another. I used to wander around on a motorbike wearing an helmet well before it was made compulsory, driving a car wearing the seat belt well before it was made compulsory (I was driving planes before even getting a car driving license, and there wearing a seat belt was dictated by our instructors, and that was the "voice of God" to us, so I guess I simply transferred that to cars). So probably the imprinting I received would have sooner or later kicked in anyway.

e)I've just come home from Made, there, I saw no instructor was wearing an helmet while teaching.
Police/Carabinieri patrolling the runs were (as in all military organizations, orders are orders, I guess).
Lift company employees were not, but they don't get to ski / board that much.
post #120 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
 
I'm afraid it's quite true.  That's why when states repeal mandatory helmet laws, the incidence of fatalities, etc. stays about the same, though the absolute rate of deaths, etc. goes up because more people ride.  It's a bummer for those who want to regulate mandatory helmet usage, but it's the experience in the real world.

It would be helpful if you could point out some actual statistics and/or studies that showed these effects.  Arguments of the "everyone knows/all the studies show that..." type are not very convincing.  There has been a LOT of research on bicycle helmet use, so hand-waving should not be necessary.

I dug up some research papers on helmets and skiing in this thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=67090  (see post #26 in particular).  Helmets definitely help with head injuries in any sort of low- or medium-speed skiing accident.  There seemed to be little or no evidence that neck injuries were more common or more severe with helmet use.  In one of the studies I found, people who survived bad ski accidents were much less likely to have brain damage if they were wearing a helmet.  (They weren't necessarily more likely to survive in the first place, but if they did their head injuries were less severe.)  The evidence I found was enough to convince me that wearing one was a good idea for me.

The best argument I think you can make against mandatory helmet laws (or other safety equipment) is the risk compensation argument.  That is, in a big population, enough people will ski/ride/whatever more recklessly and to such an extent that it outweighs the reduction in injuries and/or injury severity.  However, these sorts of effects are notoriously difficult to pin down in studies, which is why the debates are so contentious.  Often the same data can be interpreted in slightly different ways and give very different results.

Bicycling is significantly different from skiing, in that the biggest risk for most people on bicycles is being hit by a car.  I'm unlikely to be taken out from behind by another person on a bicycle, while that is a significant danger at many ski resorts.  I also feel like I'm less likely to lose control and hit something hard on a bicycle.  The road/path/trail conditions are somewhat more predictable, there are fewer fixed obstacles to run into (most of the time), and I'm not usually biking on icy hills where I might slide a long distance at high speed if I lose control.
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