Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The news that a former cricketer

has skin cancer has made front page news. Cricketers often make front-page news, although not as often as footballers or soccer players. Cricketers rank along with golfers I suspect.
But a cricketer of the stature of Richie Benaud does make front page news. Oh yes he is long since retired from actually playing the game but he still commentates. He is still somewhat in the public eye. The cancer is not a good thing but the fact that he is still a recognised name is a good thing.
He is telling people he wishes he had worn a hat. More people wear hats now than did then. We are more aware of the dangers of prolonged exposure to the sun.
As children we spent hours outside - most of the time without a hat. I can remember just one occasion on which we were all quite badly sunburnt but....we were often rather "red". Most children were. It is our generation which will really pay - for a situation most of our parents were largely unaware of.
Now it is cover up, slap on the sun-screen. Schools have rules that include "no hat, no outdoor play". Hopefully such things are carried on at home and out in the community as well. Maybe. Maybe not.
But there is also that other curious rule, the bicycle helmet rule. Bicycle helmets are compulsory in this state. They are, of course, designed to protect the head in an accident. I have one. Although not required to do so the Senior Cat wears one while riding his gopher.
Mine is an old fashioned one. It could, in some ways, be a much better one. I choose to keep the old one however because it has a major advantage. It can have a cover with a peak and a flap - like a legionnaire's hat. It protects my head from the sun. Modern helmets do not do that.
This is, to my way of thinking, madness. It is just as important to protect people from prolonged exposure to the sun as it is to protect their heads in an accident.
I wonder when the government is going to recognise this and insist on bicycle helmets providing better protection? Or are people going to have to say, "I wish I hadn't ridden my bike so much because I couldn't wear a hat"?

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