An Untimely Death.

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 03/20/09 •  2 min read


I’m sure all of you have heard of the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson. Talented & beautiful, out for a day of fun with her children, fatally injured by a fall on the bunny slope. Sad. So sad.

There’s considerable debate on whether or not her death would have occurred if she’d worn a helmet. I’m not going to go there. I’m not a doctor or an expert in these matters, so I’m certainly not qualified to judge.

All the same, people continue to argue about whether or not helmets are necessary. Some people say they’re useless in a high speed crash, so why bother. Some people say they never fall, so they’re unnecessary. And some people just don’t like being told what to do.

My opinion? It’s your head. So if you don’t want to wear a helmet, be my guest. Yes, I wear a helmet. Frankly, I don’t see how it can hurt. I wear one for biking, and I wear one for skiing. I don’t fall much, but it doesn’t take a big fall to cause a bad injury, as the Richardson death makes plain.

My hustand, Jon, and I adopted helmets a number of years ago after my daughter got a concussion while snowboarding. And I’m glad we did. Last winter Jon was skiing on a very easy trail when he caught an edge, went down, and hit his head so hard his helmet acually cracked. I shudder to think what might have happened if he didn’t have one on.

I do think kids should wear helmets. They shouldn’t have a choice. When you’re adult, you can engage in all the risky behavior you want. That’s why only adults are legally allowed to smoke and drink. It should be the same with helmets.

I also think helmets should be required for ski patrollers and instructors, while they’re on duty. To set an example for everyone else.

None of this brings Natasha Richardson back to life. But if it gets you seriously thinking about helmets, that’s a good thing.

Use your head.


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