Our five year old got his first scooter about a month ago. He rides it every morning from the parking lot near his sister's daycare over to Ilam School; I walk with him as my office is next door. Then I get to borrow it for the day for runs across campus. It's great.
And, predictably, when somebody sees kids having fun, we have to get a freaking movement to ban it.
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!? Absolutely nothing stops Ann Weaver from bundling her kid up in a helmet and padding if she wants to. The DSM really screwed up by failing to include this particular kind of impulse to ban things in their new catalogue of mental illnesses.Safekids director Ann Weaver said requiring children to wear a helmet would reduce the risk of serious head injuries."We do want children to go out and have fun and learn and develop and take risks but we want them to do that safely and the issue is, once you damage your brain you can't get it back. There's only one chance."A Safe2Scoot campaign will be rolled out in August, providing a template safety policy for schools and urging them to introduce a "no helmet, no scooter" rule.The call has been supported by research conducted by Waikato University social science student, Trish Wolfaardt.Her report - Scootering on: an investigation of children's use of scooters for transport and recreation - recommended amending the cycle helmet legislation to include "all wheeled recreational devices, irrespective of the age of the rider".It also recommended introducing a minimum age for scootering to school."Wearing protective gear will not exempt children from injury, but it will minimise the harm," the report said.
At least MoT and the Police have been sane so far:
Meanwhile, in Canada, some half-wit's suggested mandatory helmets for playing soccer. SOCCER. Where the biggest injuries are from people hurting themselves while pretending to have hurt themselves. Andrew Coyne re-tweeted a few dozen submissions of the things folks my age got up to when we were kids. I don't endorse each and every one of these, but I sure as hell prefer the world where these things are POSSIBLE to the one where we force kids to wear helmets when riding scooters and playing soccer. Here are some of the most fun ones from the list. Note that Monte Solberg, who has a particularly interesting submission, is a retired Member of Parliament.Ministry of Transport land transport safety manager Leo Mortimer said it was unlikely that legislation would be changed."In the same way that we have not considered compulsory helmets for skateboarders."Scooter riders must comply with all the rules applying to other road users, however, unlike cyclists, they don't need to wear a helmet or use a light at night."...Waikato acting road policing manager Inspector Rob Lindsay said there had been an obvious increase in children using scooters but it hadn't become a safety issue.
First, the sad state of the current world:
@acoyne @sungriwkowskyc You should have seen the looks I got when I forgot my son's helmet when his class went curling. I was Bad Mom.I can't believe they're making them wear helmets for curling. It's whisky that should be mandatory for curling, not helmets. For those 16 and up.
— Erin Chrusch (@erinchrusch) June 11, 2013
@chingychinge @acoyne don't forget that snowball throwing is prohibited at most if not all elem schools nowWe had massive snowball wars in elementary school. The school dumped all the town's collected road snow in the school yard. We dug tunnels all the way through them, hauled dozens and dozens of buckets of water from the school to the tunnels, and iced the down-tunnels. There were pop-up spots throughout. Then, snowball wars with Viet-Cong tunnels.
— Paula Roy (@paulajroy) June 11, 2013
@acoyne My school banned all playground games involving balls or other projectiles - no tetherball, hopscotch, hackeysack... :(
— Nat M. (@NatticusMaximus) June 11, 2013
@acoyne my elementary school tore down monkey bars while we screamed in terror watching from the classroom...also banned slapshotsThis is the world Ann Weaver is helping to bring into being. I moved here to get away from people like her.
— Mitch Jackson (@Mitch_Jackson_) June 11, 2013
But now for the better ones:
@acoyne My daughter, as part of her Queens Scout @ 13 yrs old, did a 2-night camp in a December blizzard 1.6 km from the nearest adult.
— Joanne Cook (@johalifax) June 11, 2013
@acoyne We had some demolished cars near our house with shattered windows. Our parents encouraged us to play in them. Wait...that WAS bad...NO it wasn't bad. Parts cars out in the pasture were hella-awesome.
— Kristi Colleen (@KristiColleen) June 11, 2013
@acoyne my parents & grandparents encouraged us around 5-7 to build own sail boats out of scrap to "sail" on the lake - happiest memories :)We built rafts at my Grandparents' place out of old rotten plywood and inner tubes, sailed on the puddled meltwater (that's maybe 4 foot deep, being Canada)
— Robert Cooper (@RobACooper) June 11, 2013
@acoyne Running the booms on the Ottawa River (10 yrs old). Do recall my Dad telling me to avoid loose logs, but chained border ok!
— Burnt Butter(@burnt_butter) June 11, 2013
@acoyne we used to play murderball. Whipping partially deflated volleyballs at opponents in a school gym. We always aimed at the face. #80's
— Danielle (@DanieMontreal) June 11, 2013
@acoyne I grew up in rural Ontario where anything went; no holds barred. Seriously. Well, except murder ball. That lasted onlycouple weeksSome of the folks from Kenora in our halls of residence in undergrad talked about how they used to hunt each other in the bush with pellet guns, and then pick the pellets out of each others' backs.
— Vance Duke (@glayson76) June 11, 2013
@acoyne my friends and I built two tree-houses. The first collapsed while we were inside. My dad just gave me proper lumber for second try
— Sébastien Perth (@sebastienperth) June 11, 2013
@acoyne we used to whip cattails at each other and jump off boathouses into snow banks during Ontario winters. Darwin declares us fit!!!
— Tom Stewart (@lancasterperch) June 11, 2013
@acoyne in winter we used to hook a tow rope on the back of a snowmobile and with small plasic skis go snow sking at 50kms/hr.Dad would hook our toboggan up to the back of the skidoo. Did the same thing with the horse except slower.
— Mark Ball (@Rangiferi) June 11, 2013
@acoyne my fave was "king of the hill." Get to top of snowplow-created hill beside school parking lot, push everyone else off. Then, hold on
— Francis Doyle (@franciswthwolvs) June 11, 2013
@acoyne in gym class we played tackle basketball - no equipment - gym teacher thought it was a character building exercise
— George Browne (@GCBrowne) June 11, 2013
.@acoyne I missed the beginning of this convo but fwiw we used to play tackle duck-duck-goose.Which is exactly what it sounds like.
— David Mader (@DavidMader) June 11, 2013
@acoyne we also strapped life jackets to our BMX bikes and built a ramp to jump them into the river.
— LeMule (@TimLeMule) June 11, 2013
@acoyne My phys. ed. teacher would turn off all the lights in the gym, plug in a strobe light, and let us run around screaming for 20 mins.
— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) June 11, 2013
@acoyne also briefly caught my jacket on fire lighting fireworks with hairspray bottle. And shot pellet guns at each other's backs.Bet he's from around Kenora.
— Mark Cluett (@Cluett) June 11, 2013
@acoyne Filling model airplanes with lighter fluid and seeing how far they would "fly" after lighting them was quite popular as I recall.I remember soaking hard snowballs with petrol and seeing whether we could light them.
— sjglass (@UrquhartMP) June 11, 2013
@acoyne @apalanca We used to put each other in used earthmover tires and roll them downhill. Bonus points if you hit the wall.Tractor tires, but yeah.
— 1967ers (@1967ers) June 11, 2013
@acoyne We invented a game called DodgeBrick. Suffice to say it lasted three quarters of a lunch hour, and got two of us suspended.Um... think I agree with the teachers on this one.
— Justin Bumstead (@JBumstead87) June 11, 2013
.@acoyne We used to deliberately toboggan into trees and let the momentum from the impact throw us further down the hill.
— Rob (@leaningcowboy) June 11, 2013
@acoyne Our version of murderball was one guy whipping a tennis ball at the rest of us who willingly lined up against a wall. In winter.
— Ryan Wright (@WrightRyan) June 11, 2013
@acoyne 2L bottles, fill with water, ripped up tin foil balls and Drano in that order. Cap it, shake, toss and run. Called them Drano Bombs.That'd be a felony these days. Think I'm kidding?
— Bryan Regehr (@b_regehr) June 11, 2013
And here's Monte Solberg:
@acoyne I've been missing the fun. We used to put a handful of wheat down the barrels of our pellet guns and shoot each other in the legs.
— Monte Solberg (@montesolberg) June 11, 2013
@acoyne Once we threw glass pop bottles in the air and would run under them to see how close we could get without getting hit. Four stitchesAgain: I'm not saying that the kids should be trying each and every one of these things. But I sure prefer the world where it's possible than one where none of them are. New Zealand is still mostly outside of the asylum on this stuff. But outfits like SafeKids are trying to end it. We shouldn't let them. There has to be ONE place in the world that doesn't succumb to the madness.
— Monte Solberg (@montesolberg) June 11, 2013
Jason Sorens's Coalition for Fun: needed now more than ever.
Update: Final word goes to Steve Sheere, restoring my faith in New Zealand.
@ericcrampton My kids school banned helmets for scooters. Logic is it leads more & more pads etc which leads to irresponsible scooter riding— steve sheere (@ssheere01) June 11, 2013
* As ACC is reporting scooter accident claim numbers have been rising, there's at least data that could allow for this kind of test. If there's US data on scooter and bicycle injuries that we could use as proxy for rider numbers, then this could be rather fun.