Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Please put helmets on your kids when sledding

My mom called me last night to share some really heart breaking news. One of the little girls in my brother's community in Port Washington New York, was sledding with her friends and family on Sunday and she collided with a tree and currently is in a coma in a long island hospital. Not to get too detailed but the surgeons had to remove part of her skull and implant it into her stomach to keep it viable as her brain is very swollen from the accident. This is an 8 year old little girl. She wasn't wearing a helmet as most of our children don't when sledding because honestly sledding seems so safe. And it is safe in most circumstances except when you hear about unthinkable tragedies like this where something freakish happens. I felt really compelled to write this post because I feel like this is something that doesn't have to happen if children wore helmets when sledding. Up until this point I have never put a helmet on my kids when sledding and from now on I will never ever consider having them unprotected by a helmet. Yes helmets seem extreme sometimes but honestly it's the law to wear them when motorcycle riding because of the danger but it's not the law up until this point to wear them while skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or sledding. Why not? Apparently this little girl was going 30 miles per hour down that hill. Why in the world is there not more education and public awareness to this need for regulation so that not one more innocent child has to be lying in a hospital bed fighting for her precious life because she wasn't wearing a helmet. That Sunday when New york got about 18 inches of perfectly packed clean white snow blanketed across our gorgeously landscaped backyards, parks and hills couldn't we as parents have been made aware of this potential hazard? This could have been any of our precious children so lets all not start judging the parents because lets face it, we all do it we all have done it and hopefully because of this story we all will never consider doing it again. The parents need prayers not judgements.

Two weeks ago my family went skiing up in the Berkshires. It was a fantastic weekend and it concluded with afternoon tubing. Because most people do ski with helmets now I inquired to the girl handing out tubes if helmets were typically worn for this activity. "No", said the girl annoyed at my question, rolling her eyes, "it's like totally safe". There were 4 lanes for tubers and one lane to the right for the tube lift and also for walkers to drag there tubes up the steep hill by foot. At the bottom after people completed there run they slowly got up, got out of there tube and often stood there discussing the thrill or just chatting with friends. When tubers did exit there lane they did so not fast enough to be potentially crashed into by tubers with no control over their speed. There were way too many collisions. Not between people and trees but between people.  I remember being in a panic because my tube decided to go backwards and it was yes thrilling but totally terrifying. 2 rather larger girls were conversing in my lane and had no idea that I was about to crash into them, which I did. It hurt. A lot. These girl ended up in my tube with me and one fell on my head and I was so lucky to have not sustained a severe injury.  After bitching to the manager at the mountain for their absence of responsible supervision present at the bottom of the mountain to traffic people, I made a promise to myself to never allow my children to go without helmets ever again. Last week my daughter sledded with her friends without a helmet......yet again despite knowing better because sledding isn't tubing I excused to myself but it actually is just as dangerous.

I hope this really needed to be told accident makes people realize that even if helmet wearing isn't mandatory it really needs to be enforced by us, the parents of these innocent children because I've seen way too many tragedies in these parts lately and want to try and prevent another one from happening again.

Pray for this little girl for me. Her name is Sydney. Thanks guys!


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