When I was young my parents purchased me a pair of knee pads for skateboarding.  I didn’t wear them.  I thought bloody knees were much cooler than plastic-sheathed ones.  Now, however, that I am the dad, and my kid is too young to know what is and isn’t cool, I insist on pads and a helmet just for him to fool around on his scooter.  He looks like a complete PUUUUUNK, but I look like a father that cares about his child’s safety.  He’s safe, and I come off to the world as competent – it’s a win/win situation!