A recent piece in the New York Times highlighted the reality that some cities are ditching required bike helmets to encourage bike riding, even here in the US. Too much of an inconvenience, I guess. Too much of a hassle and impediment. Public planners all over the world don’t want helmets to get in the way of, ummm, health.
And it got me thinking, in places like Europe where cycling is far more mainstream, and where helmet-wearing isn’t, are they just that much more laid back? Are they healthier and/or possibly happier, too?
Does zooming out and thinking of the crowd (better active population, lower BMI, less diabetes, less rules) while avoiding the thought of the catastrophic realities of few individuals (those who suffer harm from traumatic brain injury) make us healthier and happier as a community?
The question of course can only be answered if we agree on a definition of health and if we agree on one for happiness, too. And if we’re not the one whose child is injured.
But just this week three things happened that made me wonder if there are competing goals when I spend time chatting about bike & sports helmets and on using carseats properly, too. The issues are somewhat similar. A study last year found that the majority of parents don’t take pediatricians’ advice with car seats and another found parents are far more lax with booster seats when they carpool, too. And it was these 3 things that got me thinking on this again: Read full post »