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Old January 2nd, 2011, 05:08 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by online inline View Post
i think it would be very easy to argue. Here goes: gymnastics and pole vaulting and cheerleading are either done on mats and/or are inherently less likely to result in blunt impact injuries to the head than a sport done on wheels and commonly done on asphalt or other hard surfaces.

Interesting that we are seeking to find sports that may be just as dangerous as skating but do not wear helmets. There certainly are sports that are as dangerous as skating that do- cycling, hockey, etc.

There is not a single inline skating event held in this country that i am aware of that does not require a helmet to participate in, no matter what your skill level or how many free minutes you have or don't have in your day. What does that tell you? I know what it tells me. It tells me that the people who are amongst the most informed and most involved recommend its use without exception. So ultimately, i hear all that noise about why someone shouldn't use a helmet, and i just have to say, wear the god-damned thing and be done with it. Frankly, anything else is irresponsible in my opinion (a responsibility not only to yourself but to your family and loved ones).
I don't buy your argument that gymnastics is less dangerous than skating just because there are pads on the floor. My youngest son does gymnastics and I can tell you the frequency and severity of injury are just as prevalent in the sport as in skating. How would a helmet not help on the balance beam? Why are neck braces not used while tumbling? Because such safety gear is not part of the culture of the sport, not because they would not make them safer.

I don't know if all US skating events require a helmet, but I acknowledge most do. But what about skating events in Europe, some of which do NOT require helmets. Does that mean European organizers are somehow less informed that US organizers? I think it more likely that European speed skate culture just evolved differently than US speed skate culture.

And what about the Olympics? Are the organizers of the figure skating less informed than those of ice short track speed skating?

As far as the "wear the god-damned thing" comment, I DO wear a helmet when I feel it is necessary. But I often don't really feel it necessary for ME. There are a lot of comments in this thread along the lines "but you are ON WHEELS". Well, I've skated enough that the wheels don't really bother me that much. So I'll reserve the helmet for when I'm doing things on wheels that I'm not too good/comfortable at, like skating a bowl, or for instances where there is much social pressure to do so and maybe cars, like fitness street skating in a group.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 08:12 PM   #62
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for all those very intense "must have full pads" people out there. guarantee theres a higher user:death ratio with cars, yet i guarantee you dont have a roll cage, racing suit, full helmet, full racing harness etc. for EVERY person who sits in a car with you. imagine how many lifes would be saved if the laws were to do so?

its no different with skating. you wear protection to suit your abilities and experience, and what you are doing.
Helmets in cars would save lives. You don't see too many folks wearing helmets in cars.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 10:56 PM   #63
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Helmets in cars would save lives. You don't see too many folks wearing helmets in cars.
NASCAR, Open wheel dirt, off road, formula 1, drag racing all wear helmets because they are pushing the vehicle to the limits and accidents are supposedly more likely to happen and street driving is supposedly safer but, in my opinion, cell phone usage while driving negates that.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 02:17 AM   #64
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Greg, i get the sense you are a reasonable guy, and against my better judgement, i'm hanging in there on this one...
You've made several points, and digging back, may i paraphrase them as follows: everyone (including yourself) draws the line somewhere in which they feel taking safety precautions like wearing a helmet are necessary or not, and they make that decision based on perceived risk and other factors. And furthermore, people (like yourself) should consider streamling their preparation time for skating so as to maximize the amount of time they can skate and the likelihood that they can find enough time to actually skate (You wrote:
Quote:
My point is that to integrate skating more deeply in your life, you probably need to simplify a bit the way you prepare to skate. In my case, that meant reducing equipment I use. That not only means skipping helmet...
Fair enough?
Rebuttal: The efficiency of time arguement makes no sense when you consider long term consequences, and in fact, the consequences of saving a few seconds (literally, maybe two seconds), may result in a lifetime of lost productivity for you and your family.
And how ingrained will skating be in your life if you have become an invalid because you had a fall and weren't wearing a helmet?
Farfetched? I don't really think so. This year i took a bad fall from skating and smashed my face into a railing. I may have hit my head as well, i don't really know. But i do know that i really got banged up, and necessitated 10s of thousands of dollars worth of surgery to my shoulder, took me off skates for 6 weeks, etc. If i didn't hit my head hard enough to debilate me, it is only through sheer luck. Again, i was wearing a helmet, and i always do whenever i put skates on.
I'm like you, Greg. I want to simplify, just like you. Really, i live my life like that. And for me, simple is not wasting time trying to make decisions, I just do it, get used to doing it, and i learn to do it fast, and get on with my life. In this case, the 'doing it' is just putting on the god-damned helmet. It takes two seconds, I don't have to think about it. And I don't have to worry if I'm taking an unnecessary chance with the well-being of one of my families bread-winners.
I respect your right to draw the line where you see fit, when it comes to taking safety precautions.
But i don't think most people understand that a massive head injury will change their life for a very long time, and possibly forever. And it will not only change their life, it will dramatically change the quality of life of that person's family and loved ones.
I have seen this happen. And it ain't pretty.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 02:52 AM   #65
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I have sure seen this... My last work partner was a social worker who specialized in head injuries. She left to go work for the VA. The common sense approach tells you to put on a helmet when you are doing stuff at your limits. That's good, right? No IT IS NOT! It is the time you are doing the mundane and fall and do a perfect forward roll and hop right up that is the reason to wear protective gear ALL the time. That is an example of my best friend growing up and a skateboard. Except he walked about 20 feet and blacked out completely and fell, causing MAJOR damage. Heck, we were pulling teeth (so he wouldn't swallow/choke on them) waiting for the ambulance, and the cuncussion, OMG. It had something to do with a nerve compression at the top of his spine when he did the perfect forward roll off the board. Delayed reaction. He had major/MAJOR damage. Trauma docs said if he was wearing a helmet the damage would have been minimal, and a mouthpiece (now kill me here), it would have been nothing. Just .02.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 03:31 AM   #66
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Well, let;s make it 4 cents.
I have a distant cousin who was skateboarding and took a crash, without a helmet. I met him about 4 years after the accident, when he was in his mid-twenties. I am told he spent days in a coma. He now functions at the developmental level of someone half his age (early adolescent). His speech is difficult, and he struggles constantly with emotions and his inability to express himself. He is not able to care for himself without the assistance of his family.
The quality of life for him is obviously greatly reduced from how he could be living his life. But do not under-estimate how much sacrifice and effort and time his family is making every minute of every day becuase a young man chose not to wear a helmet years ago.
But in all fairness, i don't know if wearing a helmet would have reduced the injury or prevented it. I'm not sure anyone does. But even in the slightest likelihood that it might, what reasonable person would not advocate taking this simple precaution?
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 07:42 AM   #67
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wearing pads is a decision you need to make yourself, end of story. different types of skating have different injuries/falls, and different pads are needed to accomodate that. if your doing aggressive skating, hockey you absolutely need a helmet (for hockey facecage is good too) and other pads.

some types of skating do not require as much padding, yes it is a risk, but you make an educated decision. its like walking down a flight of stairs or have a shower, u might slip u break your neck, does that mean you wear a neck brace EVERY single time? of course not, u made a decision. you might get shot or mugged walking down the street, so you wear a bullet proof vest whenever your not home? crossing the road you might get run over by a car, does that mean u never cross the road?

the answer to all of them is no, you make a decision for yourself and weigh the risks yourself
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 07:49 AM   #68
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My dad had a stroke a couple of years ago. I've seen the results. The word "devastating" doesn't even begin to do it justice.

Whilst a traumatic head injury clearly isn't exactly the same as a stroke, the results can be quite similar. Trust me, when I say this: YOU DO NOT WANT BRAIN DAMAGE. The effects are just horrible.

Can you imagine:
- Not being able to speak clearly enough for anyone to take you seriously enough ever again (i.e. no job ever again)
- Not being able to not uncontrollably break out crying at random inconvenient moments
- Not being able to not uncontrollably break out laughing at random
- Not being able to not get uncontrollably angry at random
- Not being able to walk without a limp or a cane
- Not being able to ride a bike ever again
- Not being able to drive ever again
- Not being able to skate ever again
- Losing good bladder control
- Losing good bowel control
- Losing 30-40 IQ points
- Losing any ability to concentrate
- Etc etc, the farce/tragedy goes on and on....

But of course, "It'll never happen to me"

Ok, the risk of a serious head injury whilst skating seems relatively low, compared to e.g. a wrist fracture, but still, forgoing a helmet for the sake of saving a few bucks and the garnering of the respect of the other helmetless morons at the rink is simply absurd.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 08:22 AM   #69
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forgoing a helmet for the sake of saving a few bucks and the garnering of the respect of the other helmetless morons at the rink is simply absurd.
if those are the reasons for it then yes it is absurd. but saying that "anyone not wearing a helmet" is a moron is also just as absurd, you have no idea who they are, what they know, how much experience they have. you can learn to fall in ways that avoid head injuries all together (depends on what sort of skating your doing). hence artistic/figure skaters dont need a helmet, its something they get taught at the very beginning.

Quote:
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Yes, wearing a helmet would make both sports much safer, but only one evolved in a way that lead to widespread acceptance of use of headgear.

So, if you acknowledge that life in general would be safer wearing a helmet, then you need either to wear one 24/7 or to make a personal decision what level of danger should require it. Walking downstairs? Driving the car (to be honest, I think this would be a good idea)? Playing basketball? Skating?

I've put that personal threshold of danger somewhere above general skating, but certainly below skydiving or bungee jumping or even riding a motorcycle. Calling me stupid because of it is I think just as silly as if I told you taking a bath without a helmet is stupid.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 09:26 AM   #70
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When I started this thread, it was more in regards to beginners who are constantly falling over and hurting themselves. When you are an adult, you are responsible for your own actions, so it's up to you whether to wear wrist guards, helmets etc. You can calculate the risk vs experience and work out what you want to do. I'm thinking more of at the rink where it is predominantly non skating children and teens. I'm not debating the effectiveness of helmets or other such equipment.
How many people buy their child a bicycle, one that can't ride a bicycle, and just say "there you go". The majority will have training wheels on them. I see protective gear as the training wheels of skating, and wondered why so many parents let their beginner skater kids skate with nothing to assist. With riding a bike...why do they have trainer wheels? So you wont fall and hurt yourself. Skating doesn't have trainer wheels per se, so the least you could do is pad them up.
I tend to err on the side of caution. I've skated on and off since I was about 9, so 30 years. The only time I have ever fallen apart from being an absolute beginner was skating to school one day, not realizing the street was on such a steep decline. I started to lose control, and then decided my best course of action was to force myself to fall on the grass "nature strip" around the corner. So of course I've gone around that corner at a very fast speed, throwing myself to my knees to stop myself on the grass, only to realise at the last second there was no grass, it was cement pavement (was 11 at the time). That was my only serious fall, and it was intentional. Yet still I always wear wrist guards and knee pads. When I road skate I will wear a helmet. When I road skate I travel much faster, and therefore believe I am at greater risk of hitting my head if I fall. At the rink I don't go fast, and believe if I fall it will be onto my hands and knees, thus the pads. But I am an adult, and it's my choice. My kids need that choice made for them, so they are made to wear the protective stuff.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 10:58 AM   #71
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with rinks, typically the kids are going to fall forwards, or hang on to rails on the sides. when they fall forwards they instinctively put thier hands out and breaks the fall fairly safely.

some rinks down here offer free wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads if requested.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 08:24 PM   #72
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Hi JohnS,

Quote:
with rinks, typically the kids are going to fall forwards
At the Rinks I skate in, the kids seem to fall every-which direction - and there are no "rails", just walls to go along - except at the Winnwood, where there is no wall or rails around the Skate surface. You're out there on your own, with nothing to hang onto - unless you've got a buddy.

Quote:
"when they fall forwards they instinctively put thier hands out and breaks the fall fairly safely"
Don't seem to see much of that either.

Quote:
"some rinks down here offer free wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads if requested."
Nice Idea, but I've only seen it in a couple of all the Rinks I've attended. Not sure how they would deal with the proper cleaning (disinfection) of them either. Rather manpower intensive I'd think. You wouldn't simply "spray" into them, as you can the Skate boots as they come back to the Skate counter.

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Old January 4th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #73
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At the Rinks I skate in, the kids seem to fall every-which direction - and there are no "rails", just walls to go along - except at the Winnwood, where there is no wall or rails around the Skate surface. You're out there on your own, with nothing to hang onto - unless you've got a buddy.
the rinks ive been to the kids skate in every-which direction, but since they are usually leaning way too far forward, they fall that way. and the majority of them are still quite short and arent skating very fast when they fall, so wrist injuries arent very likely. sure they may end up with a bruise or two, but nothing serious.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #74
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Going to chime in again on this one. My parents owned 2 rinks with a total of about 12 years in the business.

In terms of serious head injuries, there was not one in that time from a skater at any level. This includes session skating (with some pretty aggressive games at night sessions), artistic, speed and hockey (and we are talking a lot of hardball hockey with no helmets).

The most common injuries were broken wrists and they were really not very common. There was rarely much more than that. My own broken arm was an unusual incident. The most serious injury I remember was a broken leg that was cause by an experienced skater going backwards slowly, chatting and not watching where he was going, tripping an inexperienced skater who was going even slower and subsequently fell awkwardly...the was no pad that would have stopped that break.

A rink is specifically there to minimise the risk, and many do that well. If they have a well maintained facility and a controled environment (good floor guards and rink control) most of that park of the risk is negated and you should feel comfortable.

If you want to wear padding to minimise the impact of minor incidents and wrist injuries...go ahead. Want to wear a helmet at a session...go for it if it makes you feel more comfortable. Want to tell other people that they are crazy for not padding up at a session...I'm sorry, but you are the crazy one.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #75
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The most common injuries were broken wrists and they were really not very common. There was rarely much more than that. My own broken arm was an unusual incident. The most serious injury I remember was a broken leg that was cause by an experienced skater going backwards slowly, chatting and not watching where he was going, tripping an inexperienced skater who was goinIf you want to wear padding to minimise the impact of minor incidents and wrist injuries...go ahead. Want to wear a helmet at a session...go for it if it makes you feel more comfortable. Want to tell other people that they are crazy for not padding up at a session...I'm sorry, but you are the crazy one.
Well said sir.
Agree with all that is written above.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:15 AM   #76
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Can I sum this all up? what padding if any a skater wears is a personal choice that they make & should something happen to them whether it be a sprain or debilitating injury with permanent repercussions, they have only themselves to blame. very little that is said here will change someones mind on the matter.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #77
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Another thread reminded me of when I started skating, taking my daughter to lessons. The idea of using pads or helmets indoors simply did not occur. We did have them for outdoors, and used them some. Indoors, it was more like, we can take a fall. One thing that bothered me as we became regulars and saw what I would refer to as casual, or visitor skaters, were the great number of overweight skaters. I feared for them. And we saw quite a few of them go down and end their afternoon. Both my daughter and I are at a good weight. It hurts when we fall, but we expect to be able to take it. Just recently I saw a couple of people, noobs, with full pads. I thought it looked funny. Luckily, I am not the point and snicker kind of person, but I did think it looked funny. My bad. I fall so little and am generally so cautious, I do not feel a great need for equipment. But for many, newer skaters, older skaters, overweight skaters, it really is a very practical thing to do.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #78
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Can I sum this all up? what padding if any a skater wears is a personal choice that they make & should something happen to them whether it be a sprain or debilitating injury with permanent repercussions, they have only themselves to blame. very little that is said here will change someones mind on the matter.
Yes, it is a personal choice, but face it, you are making a choice that very well may determine the quality of life that your family and loved ones may have for the rest of their lives. It's your choice, yes. It's them that are going to be taking care of you when you can't. And my only reason for being so emphatic about this point is that i want everyone to consider how it will affect many others besides yourself if you view this choice in the simple terms by which you have defined them. So really, i have a problem with dismissing this decision as a personal decision, when i really feel that it is a matter of being responsible and mature in your choices.

Is wearing a helmet so unreasonable? It's a law for crying out loud where i live, for cyclist to wear a helmet. A law. Is skating really any different? You know it is not - at least not in terms of safety. Really, the only reason it doesn't extend to skaters is that the sport is so small that they never extended it to reach all the related fringe activities that common sense would suggest are no different.

And i quote from the King County Public Health and Safety website:
Quote:
Wear a helmet. It's the law!

In July 2003, the King County Board of Health extended the King County bike helmet regulation to include Seattle. The new rule went into effect on August 17, 2003. It applies to bicyclists of all ages.

Now, bicyclists throughout the county can be cited for not wearing helmets. Avoid fines and fees by wearing a bike helmet!

Last edited by online inline; January 7th, 2011 at 05:27 AM.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 10:21 AM   #79
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I was in a roller derby forum where someone from another another style of derby was kind of claiming that if we "fell the right way" there'd be no risk of concussion, blah blah blah...

I then went to my handy-dandy 1950 roller derby yearbook/program and pointed out that the great Tommy Atkinson had suffered something like 19 concussions. All of them in the days before "the helmet game."
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Old January 7th, 2011, 01:02 PM   #80
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ok, yes bikes are different, they are major form of transportation and are typically done much faster than most skating, and you also have real traffic to deal with. if something goes wrong with a car or something, you get flipped over the bike, forcing a head injury. on skates, u should learn to fall safely which will drastically reduce the chance of causing a head injury.

and online inline, as a speed skater, u skate on road, at 25mph (not the biggest ask for a decent speed skater) if u highside wearing lycra while skating on asphalt, a helmet wont do anything. look at what happens to a motorbike rider who highsides at the same speed on asphalt when not wearing leathers. and theres no difference there.
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