Kids and helmets
‘I don’t want mine to think that cycling to school or the shops is dangerous.’
It isn’t dangerous, but it is potentially dangerous. I want my kids to be able to assess risk for themselves eventually.
Being able to manage risk is one of the attractions of mountaineering, rock climbing, winter climbing and MTBing for me – all about safely and stylishly travelling through a potentially dangerous environment or situation. I could do all these without a helmet on, but for most of them there is enough risk to manage without adding to it. (I have two trashed cycling and one trashed climbing helmets at home which would back this up – one of the cycling helmets trashed while on a ride to the shops.)
As my lads seem to be keen to get involved in adventurous activities I think it’s important to foster good habits – don’t climb / ride without a helmet, doen’t get in our canoe without a boyancy aid etc. When they can assess real risk for themselves, (research shows this is often as late as late teens due to brain development,) they can start to choose the precautions they wish to take based on an informed decision, (maybe climbing with / without a rope in certain cercumstances for instance.)Posted 4 years agoteamhurtmoreSubscriber
I see just as much risk to spines and collar bones although I am biased by a family member being paralysed MTBing. I am beginning to wonder if lightweight back/collar bone protection is not as important as a helmet. Caught a bit of Badminton HT over the weekend and started looking at lightweight horse riding back protection. Has not got rip-off MTB pricing but hard to see if it is fit for purpose.
Completely illogical given the hits my head has taken MTBing but I still love the odd ride with the wind in the hair!
Odd how skateboarding has gone from you must wrap your kids up completely to no protection at all these days?Posted 4 years ago
The answer is probably not if they are only 5 or 6 ft up (like riding on the footpath to school) but yes if they are 20ft up (like riding something where you might crash and hurt yourself).
Mm yeah but there usually aren’t any other tree-users over which you don’t have control.
I see just as much risk to spines and collar bones although I am biased by a family member being paralysed MTBing.
I think I’d rather have spine trauma than severe head trauma, and I’d definitely trade a broken collarbone for a brain injury.
I am beginning to wonder if lightweight back/collar bone protection is not as important as a helmet.
Possibly. If I were heading out to the Alps proper I’d look seriously at some back protection. They also do camelbaks with some spine protection, which seems very sensible to me as you’re usually wearing one anyway.Posted 4 years agoransosSubscriber
I did choose a 5* car yes, yellow was not available but colour is a consideration.
This whole ‘yeah but..’ thing is just clutching at straws. It’s just not an issue in our house. We wear helmets, that’s what we do. One day it might save our lives, that’s good enough for me.
There are all sorts of precautions you can take that *might* save your life. Evidence that a helmet will do so is mixed to say the least.
I’ve no problem with helmet wearing (I do and so will my daughter) but the idea that not doing so is irresponsible is utter guff.Posted 4 years ago
It is a reasonable point to make that there are inconsitencies in approach to helmet wearing. I am not sure this will prove that it is not sensible to not wear one when cycling though it may prove we should wear them more often. I doubt that is your point though and I doubt anyone thinks this “debate” will chnage minds
I think people might get a little annoyed that allowing children to ride a bike without a helmet is described as “criminal” and then in terms of not caring about children. So, the debates don’t often go well.
I say debates, but it can hardly be classed as such.Posted 4 years ago
There are all sorts of precautions you can take that *might* save your life.
I take many of them too. My life is worth saving I feel.
I don’t consider it a major problem to wear a helmet. And by having my kids wear them automatically, they won’t think twice about it either.
All pro and no con, in my view.Posted 4 years agoJunkyardMember
I say debates, but it can hardly be classed as such.
Be the change you want to see rather than be dragged down to their level
Personally I think they work best in stopping a bad injury being a really bad injury rather than saving your life – like binners eg above of which i have one myself.
FWIW I dont expect it to save my kids lifes at the speed they ride currently but it may stop a bad injury being a terrible one and yes we could say that about lots of things.Posted 4 years ago
Be the change you want to see rather than be dragged down to their level
Perhaps by linking to a whole load of referenced data which seems to indicate that there is no evidence of any reduction in serious injuries despite a large increase in helmet wearing by cyclists since the mid 1980s?Posted 4 years agoJunkyardMember
You are soemwhat over egging that “study” mike
Who write it just out of interest as they dont name themselves in it as the author
I also like the bit about cycle helmet use increasing in cambridgea nd numbers of injuries dropping [ they dont mention pedestrians rates there but they flat line in London] but the conclusion being
Cambridge is the British city with the greatest amount of cycling. Helmet use by Cambridge cyclists had reached 33 per cent by 1998 – lower than in London, but still twice the national average.
Fatalities in Cambridge have held steady since 1981, although numbers are very small at just 1 or 2 a year. Serious injuries fell by half from 1981 to 1998 and the severity ratio (Figure 6) has declined steadily for many years. Once more it is difficult to see any improvement in casualties or the severity ratio in later years that might be attributable to the large increase in the use of cycle helmets.
I am going to go out ona limb here and suggest it is not peer reviewed nor published
I am also going to suggest that it is better measured in reduced injuries as I assume we all realise a helmet wont stop you being crushed by a truck
Nice use of an impartial site for your evidence there …thankfully they dont have stance on the issue and cherry pick data
the one giving the supporting view for helmets
is about 3/4 of them pointing out whyit is wrong
this is like debating with TJ and the same use of evidence 😉
Again it depends what you look at – will it save your life in a fatal crash* probably not as the speed and the large heavy metalbox are probably the main issue. Will it reduce your injury Probably. Will compulsion discourage cycling, probably
* yes yes I know but you get the pointPosted 4 years agoddmonkeySubscriber
I encourage my boys to ride bikes, scooters, run about and take risks (within reason of course) and apply as much supervision as possible. I have always told them to wear helmets when riding bikes or scootering but am not militant about it. I always wear a helmet for proper rides but occasionally forget if I’m just pootling up the road with them. They occasionally forget to put their helmets on but make no complaint when reminded, and they wouldn’t dream of going on a proper ride without one. They wear helmets, they get to do fun stuff, as do I. Everyone is happy. They get to have helmets they like an put stickers on them and its all part of the fun. Gloves as well.Posted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
My almost 4 year old demands her helmet before getting on her bike.
I think part of it is that Daddy always wears a helmet so she see’s me wearing one whenever I ride and thus it’s the norm.
I’m sure once she starts school the Peer-groups will undermine all our work in a few minutes.
Interesting that so many see helmet use as a conditional/circumstantial thing, while others (like myself are quite Black and White about it). Obviously they are your risk assessments and all, but do you really believe you are less likely to spanner your noggin on a commute (with Cars, Ped’s and road furniture about) than in the woods (with trees and rocks)?
I tend to view almost all cycling environments as holding roughly equal levels of potential injury risk, just from different sources.
Obviously helmets are not a panacea, they’re a last line of defense when judgement, training and luck have all run out, and may well not yet work sufficiently at that point.
But considering that kids are more likely to have a tumble, and at the sort of lower speeds at which helmets generally perform better, I’d say that getting them to wear a helmet when they are young is the responsible thing to do. Not a criticism OP, just My belief, I don’t shout at strangers for their own practices we all make our own choices.
My own decision on Helmet use was made at 17, when I was “just” Riding Home (helmetless) I had some sort of accident, which I’m still not clear on the details of, but it put a big gap in my memory, bent my forks, and tore both the straps off of my Rucksack, so there was clearly enough inertia involved to cave my skull had it struck the right object, a helmet may not have saved me under those circumstances, but it would have improved my odds of survival, as it is I’m here today thanks purely to dumb luck, which I don’t want to test any further than I already have…Posted 4 years ago
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