To wear or not to wear a helmet…that is the question


Hmmm - a tough decision?!....

Except in many sporting activities, the question, to me at least, has been answered emphatically…YES!

It seems there are many excuses reasons people use to not wear protective headgear. In my opinion there is only ONE reason why anyone SHOULD wear protective headgear – ‘Brain Injury of some kind, maybe death’

Allow me this one simple assurance – during the 1st year after my accident I repeatedly thought death would have been the better consequence.

Time consuming as it is when hiring any equipment before joining the fun of your planned activity, in my opinion, is time well spent where both hirer & hiree (same corollary can be made when purchasing equipment) make the all important decisions about safety.  It was only 2 years ago when I had my accident & the hiring of boots & skis (at the ski field) was like a conveyor belt of automated processes, which by all accounts sounds quite impressive & if they were packing tins of food I would not be concerned or writing this post!  Only we weren’t tins of food we were human beings requiring a greater level of interaction for our safety out there on the slopes.

...NEXT!...

I was, like many other people eager to enjoy every moment on the ski slopes, not thinking twice about the possible dangers that lay ahead (excuse the pun).  Wearing a helmet never entered my head…I preferred compacted ice! nor did it seem to enter those who (at the time) operated the ski fields. That may sound harsh, but the fact remains, these people know of the accidents that occur under their watch, the least they could have done, would be to advise of the possible danger, in not wearing a helmet.  I am certainly not saying protective headgear prevents all injuries to the brain but it can, at least, provide a good level of protection when worn correctly.

I admit to knowing very little about other countries & their laws, apropos protective headgear, I can only make comment on NZ. It would be unfair of me to state there is little regard for accidents involving head injuries in NZ, it is however, true & fair to point out that a significant amount of these accidents could be avoided or at the very least be less impacting on the individual & families, if we were all better educated about the severity of such injuries.

Heaven forbid there be laws that dictate the wearing of helmets in certain sports /activities…I guess it would make a mockery of the law that allows 15 apologies, 16 year olds to drive cars without insurance!

I know over the past year the ski field operators here in NZ have asked the government to make wearing helmets on the slopes mandatory. It seems however this is not a realistic request, despite a number of deaths & countless tbi sufferers! I personally would like to see the law change across the board, where protective headgear is mandatory for any activity where there is considerably increased risk…although I think the possibilities are far greater for George Clooney to get down on one knee & propose to me!!
ACC (government arm for accident compensation) should be lobbying for such change, since they cover EVERY type of accident there is & for ANYONE that lives in or visits NZ!! They are quick to complain about the volume of claims they process & equally as quick to remove you (prematurely) from their (for the want of a better word) care!

The dangers of taking a hit to the head in what ever circumstance can be unequivocally life changing.  If laws cannot or will not be established, make sure you understand the dangers & take the necessary precautions. I wish I had.

Apologies for my rant but not the message 🙂

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3 comments

  1. No apologies needed only Kudos!

    After my second head injury it became abundantly apparent that I could NEVER hit my head again. Done. Skiing. Out. Ice skating. Out. Roller skating. No way. With a TBI I am not willing to take another hit even with a helmet. For me that is just life from now on.

    My family now wears helmets even while skating. My son cringes a bit BUT he understands having watched me struggle.

    Again, kudos to you for posting this!

    Peace, jen

  2. Hello Jen.
    Thank you for not only reading but also telling me of your story. I am soooo pleased your family wear helmets. How could they not when they have witnessed your injuries & the strength it takes to re-build your life. I didn’t realise how writing a blog would enhance my life. Meeting inspirational people like yourself Jen makes it feel all worth while 🙂

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