sapperadam wrote:I then used to go out a lot with my kids and not wear one but made them wear one. That was down to cost. Wouldn't pay for anything I didn't HAVE to pay for. I once took my kids out and realised my then five year old daughter (now 17!) didn't have her helmet on about five minutes into the ride. No worries thinks I, she'll be fine she never falls off (I actually said this to her mother as well). Two hours later, she follows me down a step just as I tell her to stop but she thinks she can do it. Falls off, blood everywhere, ambulance and a stay in hospital for my baby girl. Needless to say, she never went without a helmet again even though I still did. Back then.
Nowadays, I've done that bit more research, I'm riding a LOT more and I wear a helmet. But that is MY choice from MY experiences and MY research. I fully understand the risks, risk compensation, risk management and all of that and I believe that the risk of ME not wearing a helmet out weighs the risk of ME wearing one. They both have their own separate risks, most people tend to forget that. But it's about weighing up the risks and making your own PERSONAL risk assessment. We don't need a law, we need a proper study and education to ensure that we have a fully balanced view that is fully understood and that is what we currently do not have. I will quite happily "have a go" at other cyclists for doing things wrong, such as running a red light for instance, but while I might shake my head a bit, if a cyclist is not wearing a helmet, I will never have a go, that is down to choice.
Whilst I largely agree with the personal risk assessment aspect, I would like to comment on how you came to the conclusion that your daughter should wear a helmet. I completely understand the protective impulse. When my daughter was small, she had a number of crashes; happily, none were serious, but I would like to describe my thinking after one of these...
We were cycling in a country park, and I went down a hill. She followed me and crashed fairly hard into a rose garden. She was only upset and scratched by the thorns, but the outcome could have been far worse. Thinking about the incident, I realised that I had done something that might have been unsafe for Mini V and she followed me. Further, I realised that Mini V was likely to follow me in similar circumstances, even if I told her not to (kids, right?).
My conclusion from this was that if I wasn't certain she could do something, I should deal with it in a different way. In that particular case, I thought I should have stopped at the top, and talked to her about it, and then either let her have a go, if she felt she could do it (maybe with a little instruction about where to aim the bike), or walk down together.
I didn't conclude that she should wear a helmet.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom