21 May
Posted in: parenting
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Real Life Bike Helmet Safety

Currently my most favorite thing we own is the bike helmet our 11-year-old son was wearing Monday night. It saved his noggin and quite possibly kept our family from being forever altered.

Our oldest and my husband race mountain bikes. Craig raced during summers in college and picked the sport up again last summer when B showed interest. It’s a passion they share that’s separate from the rest of the family. It’s always made me uneasy. Worrying is my most common sin. The hardest part of parenting for me is having parts of me out in the world making their own decisions and seeing them suffer. I long to tuck them under a wing and keep them safe. A life thoroughly protected from experiences isn’t much of a life though.

Crack on the Inside of Bike Helmet

Monday marked the start of the 2014 mountain biking season for B and Craig. I offer prayers of safety while they’re racing and trust their judgement. They know there’s a chance of injury. We’ve seen lots of scrapes and bruises, and Craig has a few scars from various accidents in his younger years.  Monday’s accident will resonate with me for years.

I received a text from Craig which read, “We survived. B took a pretty good spill and is scraped up, but he’s OK.” My husband is a zen master, always calm and collected. If he thinks something is worth mentioning, it carries some significance. I read the text as, “B is bloody and maimed but no need for a hospital.” My stomach was a knotted mess as I went through the motions of getting the younger three to bed. I knew there would be some doctoring needed when the guys arrived home.

Crack on the Outside of Bike Helmet

B walked in proclaiming to be fine and handed me his bike helmet. The left front was cracked through the plastic and foam. The child had hit a rock going downhill, not too fast, and flipped over his handlebars. His left side of the head had hit the ground hard enough to cause a complete break through his helmet. He had no head trauma. The bike helmet had done its job well. B does have a black eye and scrapes to his face, one elbow, both knees and back.

bike helmet safety

It could have been a crack in the sidewalk or a curb he didn’t quite make it over. His accident just happened to be on a trail. He was more concerned about his bike and whether or not I would ever let him race again. The bike is fine, and the injuries will heal. My mama bear gut reaction was no more racing. I know I won’t make him stop though. From what I’ve been told, he wasn’t making bad choices on the course. It was simply an accident. He’ll race again. He’s not afraid and my fear isn’t a good enough reason to hold him back. I just may require a few more prayer warriors to get me through that first race back.

We took his helmet into school to show a few classes and talk about bike helmet safety. I was surprised at the number of his classmates who said they don’t wear a helmet. I would like to think my parents would have required me to wear a bike helmet if we would have known more about their importance. I was told it’s overly dramatic to require children to wear bike helmets every time they ride. I disagree. Do I know my son’s life was ever in danger without the helmet? Not for certain, and thankfully I won’t have to spend days wondering ‘what if….’ It only takes one moment to change a life.

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1 Comment

  • Way to go B!! You know what you are doing, your parents have guided and supported the things you love to do!