“Don’t be vain, protect your brain!”

20 years working with Hampshire Constabulary taught me many things.  Things which perhaps seemed insignificant to me as a singleton with only myself to look after, yet became very important to me as a parent.  They say once a police officer always a police officer and that’s true to a degree.  When you’ve witnessed horrific injuries or encountered incidents that cause pain and suffering, the last thing you would ever want is to see another person experience the same.  Combine this with parenting and you get someone like me!  Someone who risk assesses every situation, thinks of all the possible outcomes and takes the necessary steps to ensure my children’s safety. Some may joke I’m Captain Safety, some may feel I’m over protective  (I have been told this!) but hey that’s their opinion, and in the grand scheme of things do these people’s opinions matter to me more than the safety of my children?

I can’t begin to explain to you (nor would I wish to) what it is like to see a person with a head injury, let alone a child, with potentially life changing injuries, or worse still a fatality.  In a nutshell, it is horrific, and an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  I don’t mind admitting that some of these images didn’t leave my mind for quite a while, and some still haunt me.  Life can change in an instant and at times there was nothing we could have done to prevent it.  Yet other times, preventative measures could have been made.  Seat belts could have been worn, children could have been in car seats, drivers could have left their mobile phones alone, cyclists could have worn helmets……. and so the list goes on.  Lives could possibly have been saved and so it is with thought I ask you, why wouldn’t you take every precautionary measure available to you to ensure the safety of your loved ones?  To those who pass judgement saying we were all fine in our day, nothing happened to us, I agree!  How fortunate we were.  However many were not fortunate, injuries were caused, and parents had to face losing their son or daughter.  We have learnt a lot since then and fatalities have reduced significantly. Charities like RoSPA state that accidents are the biggest threat to you and your family for most your life. A staggering 14,000 people die as a result of accidents in the UK every year and millions are injured. Their mission is to save lives and reduce injuries.

So it is with RoSPA’s mission in mind I have a strict rule that Izzy and Ollie must follow if they wish to play on their bikes, scooters, skateboards, and roller-skates…… they must wear a helmet! No helmet, no action.  To many, a helmet for a bike is a must, but the countless looks I’ve had from other parents when they’ve seen the children wearing helmets whilst on their scooters!  So I’m OTT fair enough but any of the above could cause your child to fall off and heavily impact the ground. I’d far rather a helmet took this impact rather than a head.

Recently I became aware of a post on Facebook by Emma Fairthorne. I’ll leave you to watch the heart wrenching clip and make your own mind up about helmet safety as I think this says it all.

Don’t be vain, protect your brain.

Following this horrifying ordeal you’ll be pleased to know Georgia has miraculously made a full recovery. It doesn’t need me to tell you this could have been a very different ending. Georgia’s mum Emma has since been on a mission to share their story with as many parents as they can to encourage everyone to wear helmets so this doesn’t happen to anyone ever again.  Whilst our stories are very different I can understand Emma’s passion to educate others as this is how in felt with our own story! So please guys take a look at Emma’s Facebook page Don’t Be Vain Protect Your Brain and get your children (no matter how old) wearing a helmet. As I always say, together we may just save a life.

 Most Aspirational Woman 2014 inspirationaward

About us

Izzy and Ollie is a new Children's Safety Education project which was inspired when 2 and a half year old Isabelle called an ambulance for her Mum when she experienced a life threatening allergic reaction. The incident made Joanne consider how wonderful it would be if all young children could be educated about emergency situations. To simply learn their full name, age and address as early as possible (as her 1st book illustrates) could be highly beneficial not only to themselves, but it could also contribute to help save other people’s life. The books follow characters Izzy and Ollie who find themselves entangled in various situations. They encompass Child Safety issues together with simple courses of action that children could learn and replicate should they ever find themselves in the same situation.

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