:Parent First, Friend Second
:Dear Abby: Patients cannot be used as exhibits, even with the best of intentions. It would be unethical and also illegal under HIPAA laws. A better option would be to contact the injury prevention office at a local children’s hospital and ask for tips. If your readers don’t live near one, there are websites filled with helpful information.
:Laurie in Dallas
:Dear Abby: It’s true that there is no state code law in Texas regarding bicycle helmets, but many municipalities, including Dallas, have ordinances that require riders to wear them. That mother should check her city code.
:Concerned in Texas
:Dear Abby: “Overprotective” should let her son choose a “cool” helmet and be sure it’s fitted correctly. Going to a bike shop may be the best bet.
Serious bikers are cool and will be supportive. The boy should select the style and color he wants and decorate it with hot stickers or whatever he wishes. If that doesn’t work, then take the bike away. It’s the kind of cause-and-effect discipline that really works.
:Barbara in Rumford, Maine
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.