“Bike Helmet Idiocy” or “One Reason Why Our Kids are Fat”

The local TV news has a feature where someone from the newspaper highlights stories they’re working on for tomorrow’s paper. Tonight one of the stories was about a big increase in the number of kids injured while riding bikes. According to them 128 kids were treated at Children’s in Dayton for injuries suffered while riding bikes this year through May. (Here comes the idiocy) Most of those injuries were fractures, and most of the kids weren’t wearing helmets. No mention of how many were head injuries (the conspiracy theorist in me says this is because it’s too low a number to instill enough fear, or sell enough helmets). Plus if it were a significant number, why not tell us?

Where is the logic in this? Most of the kids broke (I’m guessing) arms and collarbones, why the obligitory helmet reference?

It’s like they quote the injury statistics to prove how dangerous bike riding is, then put forth helmets as some sort of panacea.

Scare the parents into not letting their kids ride their bikes while simultaneously lamenting the rise of childhood obesity.

It really does irritate the piss out of me how the news can’t mention the word bicycle without also mentioning helmets. Like the guy a few weeks ago that was hit while riding at night, with no lights, down the median of a busy road. He died of massive chest and abdominal trauma, but the news fixated on the fact he wasn’t wearing a helmet. No mention of the various unsafe (and illegal) things he was doing which led (directly) to him being hit, just that he wasn’t wearing a helmet (which was of no consequence).

Not once will they mention rider (or driver) education or Effective Cycling courses, no… helmets, helmets, helmets.

They passed a mandatory helmet law in Dayton for kids under 16, but no thought is given to adressing the real cause of the injuries (things like riding at night with no lights, riding against traffic, etc).

Rather than enforce the laws that already exist, they pass new laws. Is the priority actually saving lives, or is the priority simply making it appear as though something is being done without expending too much time, energy, or money?

And yes, I am planning on getting a copy of the paper, and writing a letter to the editor.