Each year at this time we expend a little ink urging drivers to slow their pace and pay attention because, with school out, more youths are on the street. This year, we'd like to remind those youths and their parents that it isn't just drivers who need to take notice.
According to information given to prom-going students at Tahanto by the Massachusetts Brain Injury Foundation last month, traumatic brain injuries between puberty and young adulthood can cause lifelong problems because brains are still developing into the early 20s.
The leading cause of brain injuries in the United States is falls, many due to risky behavior.
And if you were wondering why narrow handrails and high walls are more of an attraction for some skateboarders than the "flat, dry area" on the warning labels, part of the brain that develops last is the frontal lobe that plays a key role in executive functions, like decision making.
So we say, if you're on wheels, wear a helmet.
And, we say if your child is on wheels, buy them a helmet.
We know it's not cool (there's that frontal lobe thing again) and it may be a battle getting them to wear it, but think about this: Would you prefer to battle over safety equipment with the person living under your roof or with an insurance company over the medical equipment your child could need after a brain injury?