Saturday, November 19, 2011
I write this as I was reminded of the need for personal safety reading a rather tragic obituary. Any death, especially at a young age, is a tragedy. It's especially tragic when it could and should have been avoided. Still, a recent obituary in the NY Times caught my attention.
I was somewhat confident about the "cause of death" when I read the headline: "Jamie Pierre, Free Skier Known for Feats of Daring, Dies at 38." He didn't die of food poisoning. Rather, this "professional big-mountain skier" died "when an avalanche carried him about 800 feet over rocky terrain and a small cliff." Sadly, "the area was off-limits at the time; the resort had not yet opened for the season and avalanche-control measures had not yet been taken." Even more sadly, "Pierre had many concussions over the years but refused to wear a helmet. 'If something’s so dangerous it requires a helmet,' he said, 'then maybe I shouldn’t be doing it.'"
For whatever reason, our kids somehow think that they're similarly immune to head injury. I see them riding around our yishuv all the time without helmets, as hapless parents think nothing of it.
Parents, I don't think there's any better way to say it. Take some posthumous advice from a professional big-mountain skier. If something's so dangerous that it requires a helmet...wear a helmet.