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Daycare Center Tells Parents to Provide Helmets for the Kids

"It is advisable for toddlers to wear a helmet while in the playground because they can easily trip and fall."

HelmetMarysmn / DreamstimeIf you could go back 50 years, you would see very few kids wearing helmets as they zoomed around on bikes. Who knows if, 50 years from now, bareheaded kids on the playground circa 2018 might look crazily unprotected. If so, we may have one particular daycare in Canada to thank for igniting the trend. Global News reports:

An Edmonton daycare is defending a policy that may raise a few eyebrows. It has asked parents to bring a helmet to protect children in its playground.

The policy also states it is the parents' responsibility to provide a helmet and to upgrade it in order to fit their children's growing needs. "You feel like you protect the child," daycare owner Mircea Bailesteanu said.

The center's helmet policy is this:

"It is also advisable for young toddlers to wear a helmet while in the playground because they can easily trip and fall."

The fact that toddlers are built to trip and fall—that this is a feature, not a bug, of learning to get around, know their body, test their limits, and practice walking better so that they trip and fall less often—does not occur to anyone looking at the process only through the lens of risk. That lens magnifies the downside of normal childhood activities, and blocks out any upside, including the fact that falling down is the corollary to getting back up.

We are arriving at a point where we define almost any negative activity—a splat, a spat, a boo-boo, a B+, a moment of sadness, fear, or regret—as something no child should be forced to endure. As if they are all as fragile as glass animals. Protecting children from being a child is not protecting them as they grow. It's protecting them from growing.

Photo Credit: ||| Marysmn

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  • Cynical Asshole||

    So, if they're all wearing helmets, how can you tell which ones are.. you know... "special?"

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Short buses?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    "I'm with her" lunchboxes?

  • Don't look at me.||

    Winner

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "I'm with her"

    Why do I read that in Ralph Wiggum's voice?

  • General_Tso||

    That's unpossible!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Just wait until they figure out that they can bash one another in the face with the helmet. Or try ramming into brick walls. Don't these people remember anything of their own childhoods?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Don't these people remember anything of their own childhoods?

    Too many concussions? /sarc

  • perlchpr||

    Yep. The neck injuries should be glorious.

  • Dan S.||

    Yep. I was thinking butt each other in the chest or stomach, and then what would the school do, make them wear full suits of armor?

  • JFree||

    I don't see much that can reverse it. I don't think a lot of these sorts of changes are really about protecting the kids. They are about protecting the day care centers from legal liability. And ever since mothers joined the workplace, kids have ended up spending more time in places where paid adults who have something to lose when kids get hurt end up trying to limit what they will lose.

    It's a change in our culture and we don't do that well.

  • lap83||

    "They are about protecting the day care centers from legal liability."

    Exactly. Lenore is comparing apples and oranges when she brings up what was normal 50 years ago. A daycare situation is not the same thing as a stay at home parent watching their kid for many reasons.

  • perlchpr||

    Or even a neighbor watching the kids informally. I remember in kindergarten there was a woman down the street who babysat kids for a living, a number of whom were also in kindergarten with me. Needless to say, none of us were made to wear helmets. ;)

  • mswen||

    "They are about protecting the day-care centers from legal liability."

    No, they're about protecting emotionally fragile adults from all of the bumps and bruises of child-rearing. Skinned knees heal, but the trauma of seeing your child trip and fall or fail at playing tag can leave real scars.

  • Qsl||

    Eh, but that is more a consequence of parents (err, people) being more litigious. I mean it is easy to poke fun at these places, but very few castigate the parents that make these polices all but inevitable.

    A theory I heard recently was much of bubble-children phenomena was misplaced guilt over the sense parents were not spending as much time with their kids. Purely speculative, but it makes as much sense as any other theories I've read.

    This does not bode well for the future.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Some of that is driven by the healthcare companies looking at subrogation.

    Broken arm? "Where did it happen?"
    Not covered if it was X.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I keep hoping Lenore Skenazy will write about whether something minors do today should disqualify them from public office 36 years from now.

    It's the underlying assumption to so much of what people are talking about--and it's going unscrutinized.

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    Being a conservative will disqualify you in 36 years time. What you do today does not matter.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The meek shall inherit the Earth.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    +2112

  • ||

    A helmet? That's insane. What we need to ask is: protective visor or full face mask?

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    I wear the full face mask to protect myself from my strong face-palm reflex.

  • Alcibiades||

    Toy guns are still ok?
    Right?

    https://www.kids-army.com/

  • SIV||

    "Only a reactionary would oppose playground safety"

  • Old Coasty||

    Only reactionaries require oppressive draconian measures to keep kid uneducated and untrained in the realities of the world.

  • Longtobefree||

    How can you tell your child is in the wrong day care?

    Also, I assume this Edmonton is the one is socialist Canada.

  • ||

    Actually Alberta was a Conservative stronghold for most of its history. It came as something of a surprise to most that it went to the left and elected an NDP government in 2015. Until then it was viewed by most in the rest of Canada as a province filled with right-wing cowboys who were filthy rich on oil money.

  • ||

    It's not a simple topic. Brain injuries are no joke and not at all like a busted lip or broken arm.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Do you remember any or your classmates getting brain damage from falling down?

  • ||

    It seems you don't really comprehend how brain injuries work. It's not something that is necessarily obvious immediately, and may in fact never be completely obvious.

  • SIV||

    Seems obvious in your case.

  • ||

    Wow, you're clever...

  • ||

    It seems you don't really comprehend how brain injuries work. It's not something that is necessarily obvious immediately, and may in fact never be completely obvious.

    As someone who's inflicted brain injuries on a few people, if it's not obvious immediately nor ever completely obvious, you're not doing it right. Before you get too distraught about all those injuries I should say that most of the people I inflicted a TBI on was wearing a helmet at the time, so it's OK.

  • mswen||

    And this is how you institute ridiculous nanny-state policies.
    1) Invoke the protection of the defenseless (like children, the mentally ill, or minorities).
    2) Cite something scary, like a disease or crime wave.
    3) Imply scary thing could be happening right under your nose.
    4) Denounce your detractors as dangerous, heartless, or simple.

  • Roger the Shrubber||

  • ||

    Progressive adults need helmets if you ask me.

  • brec||

    The fact that toddlers are built to trip and fall—that this is a feature, not a bug, of learning to get around, know their body, test their limits, and practice walking better so that they trip and fall less often—does not occur to anyone looking at the process only through the lens of risk.

    Irrelevant. Helmets do not prevent tripping and falling. Requiring helmets is silly for other reasons.

  • Dillinger||

    if they don't fall and bang their heads they won't know what it's like to fall and bang their heads dummies.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    The other daycare centers don't require helmets. What's so dangerous about yours that makes it a requirement?

  • Dan S.||

    What they really say is that wearing a helmet is "advisable". What that actually means in practice is hard to say.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    That lens magnifies the downside of normal childhood activities, and blocks out any upside, including the fact that falling down is the corollary to getting back up.

    Getting back up? On their own? These children must learn to depend on their benevolent overseers, not to act in their own interest!! Such behavior could lead to...

  • Robert||

    In 1991 I saw my niece & nephew put on crash helmets to bicycle (slower than I would walk) & roller skate (slower than they would walk) on the sidewalk, but then take them off to play on the monkey bars, etc. at the playground. I asked their parents why one & not the other, as I thought a head hit to be more likely & serious on the playground than on their "wheels". They said that's just the way it's done. It goes by custom, not assessment of risk. Actually if there's anywhere crash helmets should be worn, it's in a car. Possibly also on stairs.

  • Robert||

    Air bags are more effective than crash helmets, which are more effective than safety belts. But air bags are also more dangerous. And safety belts are more dangerous than helmets too. Crash helmets FTW in auto wrecks!

  • General_Tso||

    So the daycare center provides the bubblewrap and antibiotic showers?

  • Nuwanda||

    I saw a kid on the street the other day on his tricycle, wearing a helmet and yellow high-visibility vest.

    It was a little sad. And soon will be compulsory.

  • Enemy of the State||

    And be sure to protect he delicate little flowers by covering them in bubble wrap...

  • Tionico||

    If you could go back 50 years, you would see very few kids wearing helmets as they zoomed around on bikes.

    Hah!!! Very few? Try NONE. Helmets as we know them today did not exist fifty years ago. I was a VERY avid cyclist during that time, riding as much as ten thousand miles in a year on the public roads in Southern California. I KNOW I reached sustained speeds of 60+ mph down some long mountain roads. Helmet? Hey, no need. Just ride so you don't get hit or go down.
    It wasn't until perhaps twenty years ago modern helmets existed AND were becoming popular. It wasn't until I began riding in organised or sanctioned road rides which mandate helmets for all riders that I even owned one. Now I do wear the helmet every time I ride, but I cannot recall one time where it did me a lick of good beyond satisfying the demand by the ride's organisers that I wear a helmet

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