1. For very little kids, head protection is a good idea...
I personally think that helmets and other padding, especially gloves, are a good idea for beginners of all ages, though our rink's experience with unreturned helmets does indicate potential economics issues. (OTOH, most of those that we lend out were accidentally left at the rink - our "lost and found" accumulates a surprisingly large amount of gear of all types, more than you would believe possible.
But most of the head injuries, especially the serious ones, that I have personally seen, have been on adults.
But it's very important to distinguish between personal guesses and anecdotal experience, even when they come from people with experience or medical expertise, and studies with more comprehensive statistical data. Guesses and anecdotal experience are very often very different from the statistics. Unfortunately, most of the "experts" who testify before legislative bodies don't worry about the statistics, so something like this bill could easily pass without a suitably careful examination of the data, producing unintended adverse consequences. Instead, the legislature will probably hear testimony from parents whose kids have been seriously injured, and doctors and EMTs who have treated the injured, but who haven't looked at the statistics. They only guess whether a helmet might have helped in those specific cases, and don't consider what other injuries helmets could cause, or how they will affect human behavior.
is mention of other studies indicating that helmet use increases injuries - this time in cycling.
Most of us who have skated enough to see many injuries have noticed that most injuries are NOT head injuries. There are a lot more arm, shoulder, hip and back injuries. Some of the most serious and long lasting, for example, occur at the base of the spine, though those are pretty rare.
If legislatures pass laws such as the one under discussion, and don't see injury rates go down dramatically, they may instead try to outlaw figure skating altogether.
There are always attempts to outlaw almost all sports, because sports are intrinsically dangerous. People participate in sports in large part for precisely that reason - it is fun
to take risks, and to push your abilities to handle them. Sometimes it is fun to learn how to deal with risk by using better technique, e.g., to learn how to control forces that seemed previously uncontrollable. If you have watched people do high class whitewater boating, climb difficult mountains, ride bikes down steep mountains, or ski on the edges of avalanches they create (you can find Youtube videos of all those - they look fun, if more than a little crazy, and I bet a lot of those of toyed with some of those things, or known and watched people who did), you know what I mean. Sometimes it is fun to skirt the edges of control, or even to lose control. I've never chosen to be drunk or high, but I imagine the feeling is But no matter what people do to regulate risk, human nature is such that we will continue to take risks, including physical risks.
If you outlaw one area of risky human activity, risky behavior just comes back in another.
And if you try to use something like helmets that make people feel more safe, but may be relatively ineffective or might actually do the opposite, that is even more dangerous.
I think I've said enough on this issue. I'm not going to convince those of you who believe that helmets are a great idea. Nor am I going to convince those of you who believe that you can reduce risky human behavior.