Helmets for children.

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firedfromthecircus
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Helmets for children.

Postby firedfromthecircus » 30 Sep 2016, 11:38am

My son was 2 this week and with money from his gran and auntie a balance bike is now on its way.
Should we get him a helmet?

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meic
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby meic » 30 Sep 2016, 11:42am

There is a great little video somewhere on the forum of a little Dutch toddler out learning to ride her/his bike.
I think that it answers the question rather well, I hope somebody who remembers better than I, or posted it originally can resurrect it for you to watch.
Yma o Hyd

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gaz
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby gaz » 30 Sep 2016, 11:48am

Behold the Resurrection!

From this thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=80211
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

Vorpal
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby Vorpal » 30 Sep 2016, 11:52am

That is entirely your decision. There is likely more benefit to children wearing helmets than adults. Both of my children wore helmets when they were learning.

Other people believe that children who wear helmets won't learn to protect their heads properly, or they don't want to contribute to dangerising cycling.

I have made Mini V go without a helmet a couple of times (she's 10) because her friends had convinced her that it was 'dangerous' to cycle without a helmet, and I wanted to prove to her that it wasn't. :lol:
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pjclinch
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby pjclinch » 30 Sep 2016, 11:56am

meic wrote:There is a great little video somewhere on the forum of a little Dutch toddler out learning to ride her/his bike.
I think that it answers the question rather well, I hope somebody who remembers better than I, or posted it originally can resurrect it for you to watch.




There is the argument that what a helmet is designed for, which is preventing minor injuries in low speed falls, seems like a good match for a toddler learning to ride: they will probably have a few falls and it might well save some tears. And that's fair enough, but there again applies equally well to the likes of learning to walk, and that is the basis for the Thudguard. Thudguard's marketing says:

"It's normal for young children to sustain bumps and bruises occasionally as part of exploring. However, learning to walk in a world of hard surfaces can turn a special moment into a heart rendering incident in a flash. Consider for one moment being the height of an average toddler. If you're not sure about this, get down on your hands and knees and have a wander around. Look at all the furniture and hard surfaces you would hit if you fell - both inside your home and outside in your garden.

Now imagine you have wobbly legs, you're only just finding your balance and you fall over more than you'd like to, because you're just learning to walk. Remember learning to ride a bicycle or learning to ice skate for the first time?
"

This sort of thing is the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt angle which is generally applied to cycling these days, only applied to walking. The only real difference is nobody much has worried about Thudguards because almost everyone's pretty happy with toddlers being safe enough, despite their falls. When children progress to primary school they fall over a lot in the playground, and if the school my kids went to is any guide they'll have form letters and special stickers about minor head injuries because they're so common. Nobody suggests helmets are needed, and it's generally felt that the odd bump is inevitable and all part of the learning process. I'm of the view that that can be applied equally to bikes, as it was when I was wee (no helmets back then, but no fear of cycling either because it just didn't produce more injuries then e.g. football).

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kwackers
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby kwackers » 30 Sep 2016, 9:37pm

They're not always a good idea.
http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1227.html

firedfromthecircus
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby firedfromthecircus » 1 Oct 2016, 10:31am

Thanks for the replies and links. I had seen that video before, but couldn't find it again when I looked for it recently, and that thread has some very good reading.
The last link there throws up one of the strange situations. A child cycling at a pace not much higher than they can run should wear a helmet but they should take it off when they use a climbing frame. One of those activities seems inherently more dangerous to me but that is not the one requiring protective equipment.

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pjclinch
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby pjclinch » 1 Oct 2016, 7:12pm

If you do want to cut the chances of tears I'd say some wee track mitts will stand much more chance of being useful than a lid. Once it's colder then gloves anyway, but as hands tend to break falls hand cover is well and away the most useful protective kit.

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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby Steady rider » 3 Oct 2016, 9:57am

I think a 3 wheeler with basket on the back (to carry toys etc) restricted to the garden or household path or non -traffic area may be suitable. At about age 4 a two wheeler may be more suitable. I would not go down the helmet path

a smaller version of Trike Bike Adult Tricycle 24" Alumin is what I would recommend( not really suitable, without a chain, front wheel drive, is what I had in mind but with a good basket on the rear. )
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=3+whe ... uhtbuJM%3A.

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pjclinch
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby pjclinch » 3 Oct 2016, 12:48pm

Trikes are a Good Thing, but there is the issue that they don't teach you anything about balancing or steering a bike (also the problem with a "stabilisers" on a bike). Balance bikes are generally seen as A Good Way To Start by cycle training agencies, and I've certainly seen lots of kits out having fun on them (up to and including MTB trails).

The only downside seems to be lots of children who aren't happy on a saddle where they can't plonk both feet on the ground to push off once they do graduate to pedals, but that's pretty minor compared to balance and steering.

Pete.

(minor edits for borken punctuation)
Last edited by pjclinch on 3 Oct 2016, 1:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby Vorpal » 3 Oct 2016, 12:56pm

Neither of mine were interested in the tricycle, but both liked the balance bike.
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Mick F
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby Mick F » 3 Oct 2016, 3:13pm

Our girls learned to pedal on trikes, and then on bikes.
Back in the late 1970s early 80s I don't think they'd invented balance bikes. :wink:

However, we have a grandson aged nearly seven, and he had a balance bike and then bike and even a bike with retro-fitted stabilisers, and it seems he has no interest in the slightest. We've tried, his mother has tried, but I don't even think he even wants to try to even turn a pedal. His father never learned to ride - and I don't think he ever tried. Maybe like father, like son?

Great pity. :oops:
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby Steady rider » 3 Oct 2016, 3:28pm

I think at age 2 it is a mistake to take to two wheels. I also think that a direct pedal front wheel on a stable design mean very few kids may fall off, a lot less than on two wheels I expect. They would gain some balance control I expect, and a feeling for steering. This is based on riding on level ground and limited speed with a direct front wheel drive on a small wheel. The child would generally be going slow 5-8 mph perhaps and having fun, basket on back for toys. A child would then connect cycling with fun, no emphasis on helmets.

The video showing a young child taking to two wheels - I think is a bad example of how to learn to ride at that age.
It shows the child falling off and people accepting this. My view is a young child can learn to ride on a stable 3 wheeler and have a low risk of falling off, age 2-4. Then progress to 2 wheels and having gained a sense balance and steering at about 5 have a low risk of falling off a two wheeler. Granted this is probably not how the average person may view this.

Some regular cyclists with children may find their children want to copy dad of mam on two wheels, understandable.
But children can understand a bike designed for them is OK and later take to a 2 wheeler.

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meic
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby meic » 3 Oct 2016, 4:01pm

Not something that I would attempt to theorise on and expect a child to conform to.
My son learned to ride by getting on a bike around his seventh birthday, so I wasnt expecting anything from my three year old daughter. She had a balance bike for playing around in the garden and used trikes in the kindergarten, one day she said she was going to learn to ride and got on her brother's old bike, an hour later she was riding.
It was just a matter of combining the pedal action from the trike with the balancing of the balance bike.
Some kids take the scrapes and knocks of life with little concern.

I honestly dont remember if she wore a helmet or not at that stage, now she always wears one, it is a "fashion" thing.
Yma o Hyd

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pjclinch
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Re: Helmets for children.

Postby pjclinch » 3 Oct 2016, 6:03pm

Steady rider wrote:The video showing a young child taking to two wheels - I think is a bad example of how to learn to ride at that age.
It shows the child falling off and people accepting this.


A bit like... learning to walk! It's pretty easy to accept because it's part of learning and there's no real harm done.

Our daughter was just about her 6th birthday when I taught her (adopted, that was the first chance), she'd had a stabilised bike and wanted on to 2 wheels. I took off the stabilisers and pedals put the saddle down so it was effectively a balance bike. Didn't make much headway at first, but then I put her on her scooter (no problems) and told her to steer the bike the same way as that, and mostly that was it. She did have a couple of falls, got back up, got back on, carried on.

Pete.
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