Dennis York, who will wear men's underwear next year, on Bicycle Equipment for Kiddies:
I'll never understand the constant over-protection of kids that society demands. If she just wants to go out and ride her bike on the sidewalk, I have to dress her like she's going in to root out Baathist insurgents. Is there really a problem with 4 year old girls smashing into things and injuring their heads? My friends and I used to build ramps at the bottom of our street and go flying off of them, pad-less. It's called being a kid.
I guess the Red Ryder BB gun is out of the question for the poor li'l gal too.
In the distant past when I was a kid, there WERE no helmets made for bike-riders, much less kneepads or padded gloves. We'd race the bike down the hill at top speed and negotiate the corner with the objective of getting around it faster than the other kids (!!)
The fact that the corner had a pile of loose pea-gravel made it all the more....exciting, because if you didn't avoid the gravel, you'd be picking it out of your legs for a few weeks.
By the way, what hazard does the helmet guard against? Are today's children stupid enough to drive their bikes directly into large trees? Cars? Buildings? And if they're that stupid, why do we care that they hit their noggin?
After all, if Darwin is right, it's just a matter of time, right? Why prolong the inevitable?
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We did the same thing....and flew down ice-covered hills with hand-packed jumps on runner sleds...and jumped out of trees and off the shed roof...because we were tough and that just made us tougher...and gave us cool scars to brag about. Kids aren't tough anymore. Ironically, kids have to wear bicycle helmets in Pennsylvania, but motorcyclists don't have to wear helmets anymore.
If Darwin is right, creating artificial padding actually increases the likelihood of injury in the long run. Because it artificially decreases risk, it leads to the relaxation of adaptive tendencies designed to manage risk. Thus, over time (and generations) children become more prone to injury and less capable of self-reliance.
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