Sorry, children's helmet rant

Home Forum Bike Forum Sorry, children's helmet rant

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 146 total)
  • Sorry, children's helmet rant
  • Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I think it might be a whole 2 days since the last helmet thread (thanks Ton). Could we close this one as a duplicate?

    would you? (interfering bastard content).

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    This one is specifically about kids helmets and peer issues though.

    Fwiw – I help out coaching kids mtb stuff. Helmets are mandatory. The group I help with is the more experienced group. The kids are now descending technical trails at speeds similar to adults and if they crash, it’s going to be at high speed into a tree/rocks/ground. In this scenario, I don’t want to see kids without helmets on.

    Strangulation hadn’t occurred to me. But then again, none of our kids are climbing trees with helmets on. They are pinning it down trails. Helmets are there for the purpose of impact protection in the event of a crash. If they are being used for any other reason, then you would have to question why responsible adults are allowing this.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    see loads of kids wearing helmets that are either too big or not fitted correctly so they’re flopping about. Can’t be much good in an accident surely, at worst more dangerous?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Last one was about Ton this one is about kids helmets.

    As rants go that’s pretty coherent, well punctuated and avoids RANDOM capitals.
    Peer pressure is stupid. Helmet policy is not the same as well structured risk assessments, etc. Hence poor fitting.

    You make a good point about strangulation.

    (Dec of Int: Pro choice)

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    see loads of kids wearing helmets that are either too big or not fitted correctly so they’re flopping about. Can’t be much good in an accident surely, at worst more dangerous?

    That’s no good either. Pet hate of mine – seeing a load of forehead because a badly fitting helmet has rotated backwards and the straps are too loose.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    My daughter had a proper high speed off about a year ago aged 5. There was just enough peak sticking out of the front of her helmet to take the impact. I’m quite confident she would have smashed her face up if not for the lid. As it was she cried, we had lunch and carried on. It was a properly sized small kids’ helmet – that was actually quite hard to find.

    She often falls off at lower speeds and then does indeed protect her face with hands. But that time it was too fast.

    So personally, I’m satisfied they help. I honestly wasn’t expecting either of them to crash – we got them wearing helmets early on so that they get into a good safety habit, because it is my opinion that habitual safety practices in general (not just on bike) stop being a chore and just something you do.

    I’m just offering my experience and not judging. You do what you want to do as a parent.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    agree about a lot of helmets being too big and bulky

    at that age we had the met genio I think, because it wasnt too big

    making sure they fit tightly is probably the most important thing,

    as for your general point, once they start going faster it becomes more important that they wear one imho Theres a large scar on my forehead that Im sure wouldnt be there if Id worn my helmet that time I was off to get a curry in a rush….

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    Do we have any stats regarding children strangled by bike helmet straps?. Serious question, not trolling at all, as it’s something I had never even considered….

    warpcow
    Member

    Nobeerinthefridge – Member
    Do we have any stats regarding children strangled by bike helmet straps?. Serious question, not trolling at all, as it’s something I had never even considered….

    A quick google brought up this, but there are newer news reports too.

    It’s law here in Sweden. Tbh, I sort of agree with bits of the OP but can’t be bothered getting worked up about it. My 4yr old has recently decided he likes launching himself around the small dirt-jumps near our place. Reckon the helmet is justified for that, which sort of brings me to the idea of ‘reducing his risk’ so as not to need a helmet. Not sure I’d want to do that.

    I would imagine tree surgeons must be a high risk group for strangulation given they spend their days climbing trees and wearing helmets?

    fisha
    Member

    the largest impacts I’ve given my head are when I’ve been pootling about at lower speeds on tarmac. In those cases, the helmet worn has cracked and crushed at the impact spot … I could actually feel the crush happen. I’m in no doubt that in those cases, the helmet saved me from a considerable amount of head damage.

    Those speeds are similar to what my son is pootling around at at the moment … so I’d much rather he wore a helmet and get that same protection.

    Do I think there is a risk from strangulation ? slighty … but the risk of impact damage is greater.

    Do I think that a larger helmet could hit the ground first potentially putting a bit of twist on the head … Yes. that’s what the helmet is there to do .. hit the ground first. The injury risk of impact straight to the head is greater without the helmet, so I’d rather reduce that.

    I ‘m not saying that your identification of risk are wrong. There are merits to them. I just think that your prioritisation of them is wrong.

    i.e. the risk of skull injury from a direct impact has to to be higher when not wearing a helmet than the risk of strangulation when wearing a helmet. I would rather mitigate the higher risk as the priority, and accept the lower risk as a possibility.

    Our lad has a specialized flash helmet. its been a great buy and he love it.

    qwerty
    Member

    You’ve made your decision and are happy with it, so that’s fine.

    Our son found a Nutcase helmet the best fitting by far.

    I quite like this:

    [video]https://youtu.be/HNoo9ZekHbs[/video]

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    I generally make my son wear a helmet if he’s on his bike, it’s not the high speed stuff that’s the problem, it’s the sudden lose your balance/get your foot stuck fall that seems to happen more often. I often like to get him to wear gloves (still looking for some 6 year old sized ones) as it stops his hands getting grazed from falls

    Don’t bother if the kids are scootering though

    They were outgrowing their old helmets so I bought a couple of cheap ones from Decathlon that seem to fit quite well. I returned a pair of open finger mitts at the same time, the mitts were more than the helmet…!

    Premier Icon woody74
    Subscriber

    For me I think helmets are important, however, I do have this underlying feeling that I never wore one when I was a kid and neither did anyone else. We were all fine and no one was ever was badly hurt. so why do we think they are all important now!

    I know lots of things have changed since we were kids but I do wonder how many things are away over the top. My kid’s primary school has just cancelled french lessons as they have no money. However, they found what must have been £10K+ to put a massive metal fence all around the school for security reason. It’s in the middle of the bloody country and surrounded by hedges. Been fine for the last 20yrs so why now is it a problem. It’s not like crime has increased or there are tons more paedophiles.

    Mini rant over.

    higgo
    Member

    My kids don’t wear helmets riding to school and back, along the canal to the park and back, messing about on French campsites or for any other ‘general’ pootling about. They wear helmets when out mountain biking with me.

    I’m happy and comfortable with this approach. I know that at least one good friend and neighbour thinks I am a wrong. She makes her son wear a helmet at all times. When he’s out biking with us I don’t force him to take his helmet off. When my kids go out with them, they don’t force them to put helmets on.
    The earth continues to turn and fall inexorably into the sun.

    steve_b77
    Member

    benp1 – Member
    I often like to get him to wear gloves (still looking for some 6 year old sized ones) as it stops his hands getting grazed from falls

    Polaris at Kids Racing, they do them from a size that’ll fit a 3yr old and up.

    jmatlock
    Member

    If your out riding with your kids and they aren’t wearing a helmet that fits them well then as a parent I think you are letting your martyrdom put your kid at risk of an injury.

    In my house if we are going out on a bike/bmx/scooters we grab the right helmet for the job.

    BruceWee
    Member

    I’ve got to write some stuff down because I’m pissed off and it’s actually distracting me from work so here seems as good a place as any.

    I am so **** fed up with the attitudes around children’s helmets. It’s like people are thinking about calling child services on you. My son is four and really likes riding his bike. However, I don’t want him wearing a helmet. There are many reason’s for this which at least shows that I’ve spent time thinking about this so at least deserve some credit for that.

    Thanks to his ambition exceeding his skill I’ve seen him fall a few times at various speeds and one thing I noticed was that when kids fall they always stick their arms out and strain their neck backward. That means that when his face hits the ground his arms and body have already taken a lot of the impact force. Also, his face hits the ground flat. Given the ridiculous size of children’s helmets relative to their heads had he been wearing a helmet his head would have probably impacted the ground at the same time as his chest. instead of his whole face hitting the ground flat it would drive the impact into the top of his head snapping his head back. I know rotational injuries are controversial but I’ve never seen a boxer knocked out without some sort of neck rotation. I’ve also never seen an MMA fighter getting knocked out with straight punches while on his back with the neck constrained.

    Every time I’ve considered getting him a helmet I’ve taken a step back, looked at what I think the danger is and reduced the risk rather than rely on protective equipment. The first time I was thinking about getting him one of those child seats so that I could take him to nursery. Twice I’ve seen parents dropping their bike with a kid on the back. I decided that actually a child seat was a stupid idea and got a trailer instead. Next I was worried that he would ride into a wall or a parked car or something. So instead of buying him a helmet I made sure he stayed right next to me where I thought there was a solid object he could ride into until we got to the wide open space where he could cycle around without anything solid to ride into.

    Next, I think it’s a **** stupid idea to let your kid run around with something that can strangle them around their necks. I know that the current standards are supposed to have a goldilocks level where the helmet will stay on but release if they got caught in a tree but I’m very sceptical. FFS, a kid in his nursery did get strangled last year when she forgot to take her helmet off to go and climb a tree. Luckily one of the staff managed to get there in time. I can’t think of a single situation where something like a helmet strap would be allowed anywhere near a child’s neck. The nursery’s solution was to send out a letter telling us to explain to our toddlers that they can only wear the helmet when they’re on their bikes because obviously this is the one message that they will understand and remember. In the same letter they said it was now compulsory for kids to wear helmets if they brought their bikes to nursery.

    I can deal with the looks from other parents proudly letting junior hop on and off the kerb onto the road with a polystyrene hat perched precariously on the crown of his head and the chin strap somewhere around the knees (maybe this is their solution to the strangulation concern, I don’t know) on their piece of shit bike with brake levers that pull back to the bar and tyres down to the canvas from too many skids but they’ve managed to convince their kids to of the magical properties of this talisman to the extent that they now shout at my son for not wearing it. **** those little ****-stains and their parents, they’re making my son uncomfortable because morons are shouting at him when he’s not doing anything wrong.

    Incidently, this is what I overheard in a sport shop the other day:

    Dad: ‘I think this might be a bit big’, he said lifting the helmet off daughters head with no resistance.

    Mum: ‘I don’t think it matters for a four year old. Besides, she’ll grow into it.’

    So, what’s gotten me particularly pissed off today? Last night the missus said, ‘I think we have to get him a helmet.’ And I know it’s nothing to do with safety, she just can’t take the peer pressure anymore.

    We’re currently playing a game of scientific study fencing where she’s off looking for studies and I’m getting ready to show here the multitude of ways they are flawed.

    Speaking of which, here’s what a Swedish doctor (Sweden has child helmet laws) has to say about helmets and deaths due to strangulation and the effectiveness of helmets. “We know we have killed, but we can’t show we have saved anyone”

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    For me I think helmets are important, however, I do have this underlying feeling that I never wore one when I was a kid and neither did anyone else

    You could say the same about seatbelts, but that’d be daft…

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Broadly I’m with the OP here. But kids differ, terrain differs and types of riding differ.

    When our kids are on grass in the park they don’t get told to put helmets on. (And that’s where they mostly leaned on their balance bikes, too, so they didn’t have helmets then; also at that age a helmet massively increases the size of their head and I can’t imagine that it does necks any good if they fall.)

    When my eldest rides to school or the shops with me he goes without because I know he’s not the risk-taking type. My younger daughter is, and she’s still learning to control her speed, so she gets told to wear one.

    When they’re playing outside in the street with the other kids they have to wear one, there’s a fair risk of two of them coming together and hitting tarmac. We’ve had one bump in the head, fortunately nothing significant. Mainly it was (in the context of other little mishaps) a lesson to us that they make more mistakes when they’re tired in the evening, so we became a little more cautious with them at those times of day.

    We don’t go blasting off-road (he’s not interested, she is but she’s not old enough yet) but they’d wear them then, too.

    Generally we’ve managed to handle the message that it’s not “bicycles are only safe with a helmet, everything else is safe without”, which is what’s generally promoted. They understand the difference between calmly going to school and hooning around with their mates, and they see me similarly sometimes wear one and sometimes not. Sometimes they’ll ask for a helmet without me asking them to wear it, sometimes I’ll ask them to, but we don’t get any disputes about it. Seems to work.

    But yes, it’s hugely frustrating that so many people think that an ill-fitted hat perched on the back of the head with a loose strap, which will at best do nothing in a crash, is somehow better than teaching kids to understand their own behaviour.

    The one time I do worry about kids not having helmets is, as you mention, rear kiddy seats. It’s easy to lose balance when mounting/dismounting and if that happens the kid’s going down sideways with no means of breaking their fall or jumping clear.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    If your out riding with your kids and they aren’t wearing a helmet that fits them well then as a parent I think you are letting your martyrdom put your kid at risk of an injury.

    Do you think the same about any other activity where they could suffer a head injury?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    BruceWee wrote:

    The first time I was thinking about getting him one of those child seats so that I could take him to nursery. Twice I’ve seen parents dropping their bike with a kid on the back. I decided that actually a child seat was a stupid idea and got a trailer instead.

    Have you got grief for him not wearing a helmet in the trailer? Ours had a note in it saying kids should be wearing a helmet in it, and I’ve had the discussion on here a few times (and once in real life).

    As for the overall arguments, my kids wear helmets on their bikes, but I wouldn’t dream of suggesting there was anything wrong with yours not (and actually I tend to smile when I see kids riding bikes without a helmet – because they’re kids riding bikes). Definitely agree with Yak that they should be wearing helmets on techie off-road stuff.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    qwerty wrote:

    I quite like this:

    Personally I hate it in the same way I hate most helmet propaganda. The message is presumably that the “bully” would have been fine if he’d been wearing a helmet, despite taking a huge rotational force on his head and landing on the road?

    matts
    Member

    The face-first crashes when you stick your arms out are – as you suggested – probably the ones where a helmet would be least useful. Side-on or rearward impacts to the head are almost impossible to negate in that way.

    I guess it’s a choice you need to make yourself. When cycling with a helmet, Is your child more likely to run off unattended and hang themselves from a tree than they are to have a fall? It depends on where they are cycling, why they are cycling, their level of competence, and myriad other things.

    BruceWee
    Member

    Have you got grief for him not wearing a helmet in the trailer? Ours had a note in it saying kids should be wearing a helmet in it, and I’ve had the discussion on here a few times (and once in real life).

    General consensus around here seems to be it’s not necessary. Which is kind of weird when you think about it. Presumably the same people who give you dirty looks if your kid isn’t wearing a helmet on the bike don’t think twice about a trailer. I would say there’s still a risk of their heads hitting the ground if the trailer were to flip so it doesn’t make much sense not to have the kids wearing helmets. But then you could say the same thing for cars.

    It’s really is strange and random how societies come to an unspoken consensus on what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of health ans safety.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    When I’m selling kids helmets in the shop I try to get the point over about fit. Too many people (girls especially) wear the lid loose and on the back of their heads, which is useless. Also, we’ve all seen kids riding round with the helmet dangling off the bars. I guess they’ll put it on if they’re about to crash, yeah?
    I’m not massively pro helmet at all, but if properly fitted and used I doubt there’s more chance of harm than there is saving harm.
    I alway point out that we don’t always hit our heads when we crash, be we always put our hands out, so to my mind gloves are just as important if not more so.
    But most of us grew up without helmets and I’d never criticise anyone for not wearing one.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Ah, well my kids never wore helmets in the trailer and it seemed a stupid thing to do – big metal roll cage, the chance of them hitting their head even when flipping the trailer is very low (and I did test this out a couple of times 😉 ).

    The randomness is more that a helmet is seen as unnecessary for other activities than cycling – TBH the helmets in trailers thing did highlight this well, as some people do still seem to think you need to use helmets in them, despite the risk likely being lower than many other activities.

    BruceWee
    Member

    The randomness is more that a helmet is seen as unnecessary for other activities than cycling – TBH the helmets in trailers thing did highlight this well, as some people do still seem to think you need to use helmets in them, despite the risk likely being lower than many other activities.

    There’s actually a lot of people who use trailers here (in Norway). A couple of years ago I noticed some people were using helmets in the trailer but now I almost never see anyone. As I said, it’s like everyone just came to an unspoken consensus.

    Kids are also allowed to walk to school by themselves from a much younger age. I’ve seen kids who can’t be much older than 6 or 7 walking and biking to school by themselves. I don’t think the actual risk is that much lower than in the UK but it’s just the consensus that’s been reached.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Do you think the same about any other activity where they could suffer a head injury?

    Like rugby or cricket?

    Do cricket forums have helmet threads or box threads? Do rugby forums have gumshield threads?

    Premier Icon rossburton
    Subscriber

    I often like to get him to wear gloves (still looking for some 6 year old sized ones) as it stops his hands getting grazed from falls

    As do Giro and Endura. My LBS (they deserve a mention, Clive Mitchell in Truro) has a shockingly comprehensive array of decent kids gear so we went in and got new gloves and helmets that actually fit, none of this hanging off the back nonsense.

    Premier Icon jimfrandisco
    Subscriber

    never wore one when I was a kid and neither did anyone else. We were all fine and no one was ever was badly hurt. so why do we think they are all important now!

    This point is often made and i’d say the same thing, but would be interested to know if there were figures on cycling related brain ages from, say, the 70s onwards..but guess you’d have to unpick from that the increase in motor traffic etc

    As for kids helmets – i make my daughter wear one, not for the bike mind, but more because she’s likely to ricochet of the furniture just getting out the house!

    atlaz
    Member

    My kids don’t wear helmets riding to school and back, along the canal to the park and back, messing about on French campsites or for any other ‘general’ pootling about.

    If they’re under 12, probably better wear them on those campsites; it’s the law in France for under 12s to wear them.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I’m not massively pro helmet at all, but if properly fitted and used I doubt there’s more chance of harm than there is saving harm.
    I alway point out that we don’t always hit our heads when we crash, be we always put our hands out, so to my mind gloves are just as important if not more so.
    But most of us grew up without helmets and I’d never criticise anyone for not wearing one.

    This for me.
    Your choice OP.
    Having seen mine smash heads when out riding, particularly as they get older/faster/more gnarly, I do get them to wear them.
    Can I ask OP at what age or riding risk you would suggest your child wears a helmet (if at all)?

    BruceWee
    Member

    Can I ask OP at what age you would suggest your child wears a helmet (if at all)?

    I don’t know. It’s not really about age, I’m just watching how he’s riding and most importantly how he’s falling. Like I said, for now he’s only falling on flat ground because that’s the only place I’m letting him tear around. Every time I’ve seen him fall it’s been hands out head back face flat into the ground. He gets his face a bit messed up but he doesn’t get the head snap I’d expect if the relatively large helmet hit the ground at the same time as his chest.

    I guess when we start riding places where he can ride into things or on uneven ground where he’s not falling on a flat surface. Basically where I think a helmet would do more good than harm. Right now we just ride near the house but I want to start going off-road with him so a helmet will probably be a good idea then.

    Oh, and when I can find a helmet that doesn’t effectively double his head size.

    BruceWee
    Member

    Another thing I’m worried about is how you tell if their helmet is damaged? Given that a damaged helmet is worse than useless I’d always be worried that he’d bumped it without me noticing. Is that scratch from a crash or did he just drag it along the ground?

    I was actually hoping the Kranium helmets were going to go on sale because at least with that you could tell if it was damaged. Unfortunately I think they gave up on that idea.

    My two biggest concerns with kids helmets are the size and the fact that you can’t tell if they’ve been damaged or not. A Kranium helmet or something similar could solve both those problems.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    We just give them a once over before each ride. Recently one looked a bit scuffed. I pushed the scuffed area, and my finger went through. New helmet time!

    (child admitted nothing about the state of the helmet!!)

    BruceWee
    Member

    Yeah, but I’ve had helmets that I know have had an impact but don’t show any signs. I’ve replaced it anyway but I don’t know how I would be able to tell with one of his helmets.

    I’m seriously considering an ecohelmet as soon as they go on sale. Assuming they do kids sizes.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    It’s really is strange and random how societies come to an unspoken consensus on what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of health ans safety.

    Strange is debatable, but it’s not random. Helmets have been pushed and marketed for decades. People are encouraged to wear them through imagery and messaging, from West Midlands Ambulance Service constantly focusing on them in cycling incidents but never any other circumstance, to Ford’s latest Fiesta advert taking a somewhat revisionist approach to depicting cyclists over the past 40 years, to the “safety” gear handed out and enforced by Sky on its closed-road rides, and so on. Random it certainly isn’t, it’s influence that takes advantage of the natural human tendency to seek simple patterns: bicycle means helmet, helmet means safe.

    5lab
    Member

    if I wasn’t forced to wear a helmet as a kid, I’d not have made it to adulthood. I guess people are concerned about the same of other kids. Would you comment if you saw someone driving with unbelted kids in their car?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 146 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks are open.

Skip to top