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Please, Parents — FORCE Your Children to Wear Helmets!!!

May 1, 2018

Image result for bike helmets free imageI can’t keep it in any longer. I have to speak out and plead and demand to all parents and police officers, adults and children to please wear helmets while riding ALL manner of wheeled vehicles!  That includes bicycles, skateboards, scooters, roller blades and anything else in between.

Parents, I know it is tough. Heck, a year ago, I was one of those who bought helmets for my kids, but only made them wear them when we all remembered. It wasn’t a priority to me. We grew up and survived just fine without helmets, right? We’re raising kids who are too soft, too sheltered.

I even had a rule that they only had to wear helmets when they were out in the street, but they didn’t have to bother on our driveway, paved pathways, or other trails.

Image result for ripstick skateboard free imageThen the neurosurgeon who saved my son’s life after a fall off a skateboard without a helmet told me, “Driveways and paths are just as hard as roads. As you know, all it takes is a pebble.”

That’s the truth. All it takes is a pebble. A pebble to bring you to your knees in a hospital chapel, BEGGING God to save your son’s life.

Parents, it CAN and DOES happen. Kids fall. And without helmets, they can fall with devastating consequences.

I know it’s frustrating to argue with your kids. I know how it seems impossible to stay on top of them when they roll their eyes and argue over helmets. I have heard the same “too hot,” “It’s messes up my hair,” “I won’t fall,” “I’m not a baby,” and “You’re too overprotective,” comments from my kids, too.

IMG_7965Even after what our family went through just SIX SHORT MONTHS ago, my own 13-year-old emergency craniotomy patient just argued with me over wearing a helmet JUST LAST WEEKEND!

I almost lost my mind at their perceived invincibility. I went into a raving rant of “What will it TAKE for you to get it?” that my three children must think I’ve gone off the deep end.

I had to put in simpler terms.

“If I EVER see you on anything with wheels while not wearing a helmet, your phones, the xbox, all computers, the TV and your freedom will become MINE. Now, are we clear on the rules? Or would you like to argue some more?”

While I think my own kids get how serious I am, I know that not everyone is there. We all pick and choose our battles, and helmet safety is not a battle some are willing to fight. So I invite you to use whatever scare tactics are necessary for yourselves and your kids.

A few months ago, I wrote this very long post as a sort of cathartic exercise for myself. I needed to get out all that had happened and I used the process of writing as my own personal therapy. I never published it publicly until tonight.

I do so now in an effort to share the gravity of everything we all went through after my son fell off a skateboard while not wearing a helmet. This post outlines his skull fracture, his epidural hematoma, the moments when the pressure on his brain caused his body to begin to shut down, and how we overheard the doctors and nurses saying things like “protect the airway” and “life support.”

I share this so you parents can read it and understand that it only takes a pebble to go from normal to terrifying. I share it so you can force your kids to read it, to know that it CAN and DOES happen. I share it in the hopes that all police enforcement, crossing guards, parents, teachers, and citizens everywhere will SAY SOMETHING to the kids they see who are not wearing helmets.

In the past week, I have seen SEVEN children out in our town on bikes, scooters, skateboards and roller blades without helmets. I know there are many, many more. Each time, it makes me cringe.

I apologize in advance to my community, but be aware that I will start speaking up. I will become that crazy lady who yells at children I don’t know to wear helmets. I’ll print out copies of our medical bills and tape them to your front doors if that is what it will take to get you on board.

Please, please, please, I beg of you. MAKE your kids wear helmets. Choose this battle now so you will have the opportunity to pick more battles in the future. Do whatever it takes to ensure that they are wearing helmets each and every time. Deflate their tires and hide the bike pump. Remove their bicycle seats. Take away their phones and devices. Force them to volunteer in a hospital or work as an EMS volunteer.

Whatever it takes, it is worth the arguments now so you can keep your son or daughter whole and healthy and living past their next birthday.

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