For some years now, there's been an ongoing argument between one of my sons and me over which is more dangerous; motorbikes or horse-riding. Today, he has won, for I read in The Times that horse riding is twenty times more likely to cause serious injury than riding a motorbike. I have to say, I was surprised (fortunately, he's at a conference in the U.S. this week, so may not get to read it).
But. More dangerous than either, in my opinion, is something nearly all of us do several times a day; going up and down stairs. At the yard where my horse lives, one rider and one instructor have both lost their mothers, killed by falling down stairs. Another instructor was paralysed falling down stairs, and I broke my back twelve years ago falling down stairs. Stairs are dangerous.
And yet do we ever see health warnings about the dangers lurking on the staircase? Red meat, processed meat, alcohol, cigarettes, even conkers...all have press attention regularly devoted to their attendant dangers. We are told to test our smoke alarms, and be careful when handling fireworks. The dangers of driving are regularly aired. But of stairs, not a word.
Perhaps we should have a Minister for Stairs. Seriously.