Apart from the fact that I am the mother of four, Mother’s Day holds an added significance for me thanks to a life-saving bicycle helmet. It was Mother's Day in 1992 and my husband was in the kitchen preparing his traditional Sunday dinner. The phone rang and a strange voice told us that our oldest son Clayton, aged 18 at the time (he's 30 now!!), was lying on someone's front lawn about five blocks from our house. We drove like crazy, as any parent would when presented with such a phone call, to get there as fast as we could.

As we came over the rise, about half a block away, I saw my son covered in a yellow sheet. I heard myself scream, then without thinking, I opened the door of the van before my husband could stop and jumped out. Approaching him, I saw him move, and knew that he was alive. His “hey, Mom” were sweet words indeed. He had hit a patch in the street that was under repair. He flew over the handle bars, landing on his shoulder and his head. His collarbone was broken, his helmet was cracked in many places, but his head was not injured. There is no doubt in my mind that his bicycle helmet saved him from serious brain injury and perhaps even death.

I was reminded again about helmets and safety while out cycling yesterday and noticed that many cyclists do not wear helmets. If you are an adult and choose not to wear a helmet that’s up to you, however you might want to make a visit to your local physical rehabilitation facility and watch someone who has a head injury go through occupational, physical and speech-language therapy.

If you are a parent please make sure your child wears a helmet. The best way to make sure that your child wears a helmet is to wear one yourself when you cycle. Helmets do not prevent accidents but they certainly reduce head injuries. Medical research shows that helmets prevent 85% of cyclist head injuries. The World Health Organization Helmet Initiative www.sph.emory.edu/Helmets/ promotes the use of helmets world-wide.

This Mother’s Day, (which is May 9th in Canada and the U.S.), I will be reminded once again, as we are all sitting around the dinner table, how grateful I am that my son was wearing a bicycle helmet.

Author's Bio: 

Lucy MacDonald, M.Ed., is the author of Learn to be an Optimist, filled with positive thinking, self-help ideas to develop a positive mental attitude so that you can live a happier, more successful life. Lucy is also the publisher of Positive Perspectives, a free monthly ezine designed to help you live, laugh, and learn. http://www.lucymacdonald.com lucy@lucymacdonald.com