An Oklahoma police officer laid down the law when it comes to helmets and kids and bicycle riding this week. And he did it, of all places, in a “Dear Abby” column.
Abby a while back had been asked advice from “Overprotective Mom,” whose son said he wouldn’t wear a bike helmet because it wasn’t “cool.” Abby advised the mom to take her son to a hospital to see patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury, as that might change his mind about helmets and safety.
But the cop had much better advice.
He chided Abby, writing, “You missed a golden opportunity to remind parents that they are the parents, and because they are responsible for their child’s safety, THEY are in charge! What had happened to plain old parenting?”
The officer said Abby should have advised the mom to tell the child “if he won’t wear a helmet, his bike will be taken away until he does.”
Another reader told Abby that it would be unethical to “use patients as exhibits,” so that would nix the hospital visit idea.
Then a third reader suggested that the mom take her son out to pick out a “cool” helmet, which he could decorate with stickers and such things.
If that doesn’t work, “then take the bike away,” the reader said. “It’s the kind of cause-and-effect discipline that really works.”