Yes I wear a helmet. I also experimented with wrist guards but had trouble with those as they dug into my hands and I found it hard to undo bindings etc so may have to look into some alternatives if I start again.
I just wish I could let go of the fear - I think that's my biggest problem. But I don't have any fear of a level 1 lesson which is why I would start there.
Of course I know that I can never really prevent injury, it's always going to be a risk but as you say, people do injure themselves on stairs and other stupid things! And I don't want to be like that any more. I quit karate too and I miss that too. Just feeling a bit old and boring now and just want to get back into the things I enjoy without being such a wuss lol!