Video of Toddler Snowboarding Wins the Internet, but There's 1 Major Problem

sloan henderson snowboarding toddlerMove over, Shaun White -- there's a new snowboarding prodigy hitting the slopes! Fourteen-month-old Sloan Henderson's viral snowboarding video shows off her mad shredding skills, but there's something else about it that caught our eye and has us concerned.

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She's not wearing a helmet! Okay, we get it, she's not barreling down a black diamond trail, but still, if you're going to start sending her out there early, you might as well get her used to wearing the safety equipment that might one day save her life.

Who can forget the heartbreaking, and possibly preventable, loss of actress Natasha Richardson? Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy also died in ski accidents, within one week of each other, no less.

More from The Stir: 11 Simple Things Moms Do Daily to Keep Kids Safe

My son began snowboarding when he was in kindergarten, but because he started out on small, local hills, I didn't insist that he wear a helmet. In fact, he seemed so tiny, it didn't even occur to me. But now he's 14 and I'm having a very hard time getting him to agree to wear one. At 5'8", he's no longer close to the ground and he seems to go out of his way to find the steepest, bumpiest terrain to tackle.

This past weekend, I took him and his brothers to a local hill. Because I was focused on making sure everyone had his gloves, water bottle, and snack, I forgot to tell him to bring his helmet. Of course, he insisted he'd be careful, but by his eighth or ninth run, he fell and smacked the back of his head on the ground -- not the fluffy two feet of snow we had last weekend, but the icy, packed-down, concrete-like snow that remained.

He got up right away but he was definitely shaken (and not just at the thought of my concern/wrath at his lack of helmet). Thankfully he was fine and I'd like to think he learned his lesson.

When I showed him the video of this pint-sized snowboarder and asked him if he noticed anything, he was quick to say, "She's not wearing a helmet!" (Of course, he was rolling his eyes as he said it, but at least he noticed!)

A head injury is serious business at any age. But two large soft spots on an infant's head don't close or fuse together until the child reaches age 3. If Sloan is not wearing a helmet under that precious pom-pom hat and she falls backwards, her developing skull is at risk -- a risk that's definitely not worth taking.

 

Images via Sloan Henderson/YouTube

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