Rosie sets out the case for wearing cycling helmets

Rosie Duffy with her winning letter on why wearing helmets when cycling should be a legal requirement.

Rosie Duffy with her winning letter on why wearing helmets when cycling should be a legal requirement.

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Rothesay Primary pupil, Rosie Duffy, has set out a clear argument for why the wearing of helmets when cycling should be a legal requirement.

As part of a persuasive writing exercise, Rosie and her classmates were tasked with writing a letter addressed to parents which sets forth the reasons why the wearing of helmets should be mandatory.

Having completed their cycling proficiency tests very recently, the pupils in Miss MacDonald’s P6b class were well-versed in the dangers of cycling without proper headwear, but Rosie’s letter was singled out as the winning entry, complete with research references.

Congratulations, Rosie! See below for her letter in full.

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To Whom it May Concern,

As you may know (or not) my name is Rosie Duffy. My class are sitting our cycling proficiency. Before we go cycling, we always put on our hi-vis jackets and our helmets to keep us safe. I hope by the end of this letter you will want to do something to stop kids getting hurt, by making it illegal to cycle without a helmet.

As you may be aware, lots of children around the world (as many as 300,000 in fact) get hurt each year from cycling accidents. Most of these injuries come from not wearing a helmet. To me it’s silly - Why you would risk a fractured skull, brain damage and even death for something as simple as doing up a clasp? In 2014, 113 people in Britain cyclists died in accidents. In 2013, 741 people in the USA died in bike accidents. 63% of these people were not wearing a helmet. In Australia, Germany and many other countries, it is now illegal to cycle without a helmet. In Australia the amount of fatalities in bike accidents dropped by 45%, and in Germany the figure dropped by 27%.

Obviously, helmets are a work of genius, but you must make sure they protect you by wearing them properly.

Here’s how to check:

* Your helmet should be level not tilted backwards

* The straps should be in a ‘Y’ shape around your ears

* You should be able to get 2 fingers between the strap and your chin ... and of course it should fit you snugly.

Helmets don’t have to be boring … you can get them in red, blue, pink, white, green and many more colours.

Once I fell off my bike and I could feel the force when my head hit the ground. It made me glad I had my helmet on!

Thank you for reading this. I hope it has convinced you that we should make cycling without a helmet illegal. Or at the very least, I hope I have convinced you to wear a helmet when you go cycling next time.

References:

KidsHealth (2015), Bike Safety, http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/bike-safety.html

CyclingUk (2016) UK Cycling Statistics, http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk- cycling-statistics#How many people think that cycling is too dangerous?

BHSI (2014) Helmet Related Statistics, http://www.bhsi.org/stats.htm