A Letter To The Parent Who Does Not Wear a Bike Helmet*:
Each time I see you on the road, “bare-headed”, following your children whose heads are safely ensconced in their own helmets, I cannot help but wonder what you are thinking…or if you are thinking at all.
Two things immediately come to my mind, the first being the idea that you are not setting a very good example for your children. The messages you are broadcasting to those wee ones by not wearing a helmet are “It is important for you to wear a helmet, but not so much for me” and “Do as I say but not as I do.” I am certain that you did not tell your children to wear their helmets for fashion reasons; rather, when asked “Mama (or Daddy), why do I have to wear this?” you probably answered, “because it’s to protect your head in case you fall.” What about your head? Do you think that, just because your gross motor skills are far more advanced than those of your offspring, you are somewhat immune to any sort of freak accident that might occur? Falling isn’t the only cause of head injury, you know. You could easily ride right into a car door that is being opened by an oblivious person. A car could run into you. You could lose control of the bike and ride into a tree. I could go on for days; I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories. Check out the statistics if you don’t believe me.
The second thing that comes to my mind is the Safety Speech made by flight attendants the world over. What have we been instructed to do, should the oxygen masks ever drop down from the overhead compartments? You remember; I know you do. We have to protect ourselves first and then our children. If we don’t protect ourselves first, something terrible could happen and our children would end up suffering a loss that is totally premature and ridiculously unnecessary. Why would you want to put your children in the position to possibly end up parentless?
I would be interested in hearing some sort of logic as to why you operate this way. The decision to outfit your kids with helmets while neglecting your own head had to be made actively at some point. Help me understand why somebody—a parent—would think this is okay.
I’m sure you are indeed a lovely person. I’m sure that you adore your children and want to be there for them as long as you can. Because of that, I wish you only the best. Please put your helmet on for the next ride.
*This letter is for you too, Parents Who Don’t Wear Seat Belts!