Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
  • STW parents – Making my 7 year old wear a hi-viz to cycle to school.
  • Premier Icon gerti
    Free Member

    The kids cycle to school, have done since they were in nursery and have always worn a hi-viz vest. (Lets face it, every little helps when you’re dealing with school run drivers.)

    Recently the oldest (7yo) has been asking to walk instead of cycle. We didn’t really understand because she loves her bike, but this morning we got out of her that it was because she doesn’t like wearing her hi-viz ‘because it looks silly’.

    I imagine she’s at the age where maybe people in school are making fun of her because of it. But what do I do?

    1. Let her not wear it and explain that she’s more likely to get knocked down and will look even more silly when she’s spread across the road like tomato sauce.

    2. Make her wear it and try and teach her the lesson that what other people think doesn’t matter. Ignore the bullies. Be her own person and be safe on her bike.

    3. Another STW parental suggestion.

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Free Member

    Pink hi viz?
    Or bright lights front and back on retina burning blink mode

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Full Member

    Cover her bike in flashing lights?
    Tell her she has to wear it to walk too?
    Do you go with her, behind with hi viz?

    Premier Icon Yak
    Full Member

    Are you wearing hi-viz too?

    Mine wear theirs if I’m in mine.

    Premier Icon unovolo
    Free Member

    Compromise, would she be interested in personalising it with some fabric paints,badges etc so its not as uncool.

    Failing that can she not wear something brightly coloured to help stand out still but that’s not a hi-viz vest.

    3rd option you dress like a explosion in a acid fuelled club extravaganza, that way no one will be looking at her anyway just the embarrassing parent.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Full Member

    Does she wear high-viz to walk to school? If not, why not?

    Premier Icon xyeti
    Free Member

    Not had this problem myself but our son used to walk to school as part of a Walking “Bus” To keep the cars away from the school gates so they wore Hi-Viz from an early age. The Pink one is a good suggestion?

    My Son has a Ruck sack and ive stuffed the high viz up into the elasticated strapping that faces out back, He was given a strap that fits around his shoulder strap that is fluro orange with Scotchlite on it facing front and he has a pair of flashing LED Landing Lights.

    Failing that Tell her its high Viz or a Helmet mounted light………

    Premier Icon wors
    Full Member

    Let her not wear it and explain that she’s more likely to get knocked down and will look even more silly when she’s spread across the road like tomato sauce

    Really? 😯

    Premier Icon br
    Free Member

    Buy her a bright jacket, of her choosing?

    Premier Icon jonathan
    Free Member

    A hi-viz(ish) jacket so it’s less of an obvious “safety thing”?

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/altura-kids-night-vision-jacket-1/?lang=en&curr=GBP&dest=1&sku=5360575521&ci_src=18615224&ci_sku=5360575521uk&utm_source=google&utm_term&utm_campaign=UK_PLA_Clothing&utm_medium=base&utm_content=mkwid%7csjEMVNdgR_dc%7cpcrid%7c67090791662%7cpkw%7c%7cpmt%7c%7cprd%7c5360575521uk

    If it’s a busy urban environment then hi-viz might not be as effective as you think it is anyway. Personal experience is that it’s effective in rural environments (against fairly uniform greenish back grounds) but doesn’t make as much difference in urban environments. There’s some studies that back this up.

    So a load of diddy flashing lights attached to the bike might be a better solution… if she likes that idea of course 😉

    Premier Icon Junkyard
    Free Member

    Really depends on what you insist as the parent. If you think it saves her life then I would impose it. I think this with lights and make my kids use them. they know if they ride bikes without them then they loose the bikes. No discussion, no argument.

    TBH my kids cycle on the pavement so hi viz is of limited use on the school run.

    PersonallY i dont wear it so dont expect them to

    Premier Icon bails
    Full Member

    Let her not wear it and explain that she’s more likely to get knocked down

    I’m sure I’ve seen several studies that show it makes no difference whatsoever to casualty/collision rates.

    Give her a couple of decent flashing lights front and back (if she hasn’t already got them), I think they’re far more attention grabbing to a half asleep driver.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Full Member

    As both a parent, and as someone who likes to be seen on my own commute, I like jonathan’s suggestion, above.

    Really, though, there is nothing as effective as teaching the kids ‘defensive riding’. I make it clear to mine that every car is a potential threat to life, and to ride accordingly.

    Then again, I am sure we all do this.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    If it’s a busy urban environment then hi-viz might not be as effective as you think it is anyway.

    Add this to the evidence that car drivers can just be chumps, and not even notice many things on a road, let alone a small child on a bike….

    I would let her not wear high viz, and on particularly dark or driech mornings ask her to wear it or walk.

    Risk vs benefit (and the benefit of her riding to school are much greater than the benefit of a driver *maybe* seeing a high viz rather than bright school coat.

    Premier Icon bails
    Full Member

    particularly dark

    In the dark only reflectives and lights are any use.

    Premier Icon traildog
    Free Member

    Look for clothing that is a bit less in your face but have subtle reflective threads.

    Personally I don’t blame her as I don’t like to wear hi-viz and I don’t believe it makes much of a difference. So long as I’m wearing something bright, with some reflective bands on then I think that’s fine. Flashing leds probably grab drivers attention more.

    As with anything in family life, try and find a compromise that you are both satisfied with. Worrying about bullying would probably be doing her more harm than the dangers of not wearing full on hi-viz.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Look for clothing that is a bit less in your face but have subtle reflective threads.

    We wont buy our kids jackets without *some* reflective bits on..

    Premier Icon verses
    Full Member

    I tend to opt for several of these (with a few blinky lights) wrapped around the flappy straps on my rucksac in the hope that lots of small moving reflectives are more noticable;
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Visibility-Reflective-Ankle-Wrist-Bands/dp/B00BC086BM

    Might be more tolerable than a full on vest.

    Premier Icon philjunior
    Free Member

    Does she wear high-viz to walk to school? If not, why not?

    This, plus make sure she has decent lights and what is the real issue with not having hi-viz? (In fact if she has decent lights, that’s even more of a reason to wear hi-viz when walking really).

    Premier Icon 2tyred
    Full Member

    I’m with Junkyard.

    Mine ride on the pavement to school, lights when it’s dark. Their jackets generally have something reflective on them. Not convinced hi-viz is essential on the school ride. Different story on their road bikes out in the back roads.

    I don’t know what your kids’ ride to school is like though. Don’t like your first two suggestions, OP. Think a pragmatic compromise is called for.

    Premier Icon Sundayjumper
    Full Member

    Bullied at school for wearing high-viz, and bullied by parents into wearing it ? That will end in tears all round. Don’t do that.

    Lights & a nice ‘proper’ jacket she can be proud of that happens to have reflective bits should do the trick.

    FWIW my parents wanted me to wear a Sam Browne belt when I started riding to school unaccompanied at age 12 (it was five miles each way including some unlit roads). I’d take it off as soon as I was out of sight. I’ve still not died.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Full Member

    In the summer I was wearing my lime green helmet and shirt. I stopped to let a lady dog walker through who told me that her dog was scared of Hi Viz.
    Hi Viz? I was dressed in my bang on trend Enduro colours.
    So tell your daughter it’s not hi viz but Enduro.

    Premier Icon scaled
    Free Member

    My daughters warmest jacket is hi viz pink.

    She doesn’t have to wear it, but it is the warmest 😀

    Premier Icon MTB-Rob
    Free Member

    Tell her she is ahead of the game as when they do Bikeability (if the school do it) they all have to wear High viz.
    So she be used to it, get to where her own and not a worn smelly ill fitting one that will be supplied 😉

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Tell her she is ahead of the game as when they do Bikeability (if the school do it) they all have to wear High viz.

    Great, so now we put them off with naff fashion of debatable benefit, before they even find out if they enjoy riding…

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Tough one OP. Being visible and safe is the priority over “coolness”. Something like the kids altura jacket instead perhaps.

    How about some bright blinky lights on her helmet? Go mad and treat her to an Exposure Link?

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    1. Let her not wear it and explain that she’s more likely to get knocked down and will look even more silly when she’s spread across the road like tomato sauce.

    Is that in “Lies To Tell Small Children”?

    Mini Ransos (age 4) cycles to school most days and doesn’t wear a hi-viz. If visibility is less than ideal, we put LED lights on her bike. The Electron Backupz are a good option, as they are very small but quite bright.

    Premier Icon tenfoot
    Full Member

    A bright jacket (red, green, blue?), which she has helped to choose, FTW.

    Premier Icon jonathan
    Free Member

    I remember having to have one of those fold out safety arms for riding to school…

    I’m pretty sure that was a key driver for me learning how to dismantle things. The **** thing didn’t last long 😉

    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    I would go with Option 3, which is pretty much the antithesis of Option 1:

    3. Teach her evidence-based critical thinking.

    No?

    OK. Let’s leave the evidence out of it. 7 year olds quite reasonably don’t want to go reading research papers or sifting through open data resources.

    But we can still do critical thinking. Ask her why she thinks you asked her to wear hi-vis. (Presumably, to try to catch people’s eyes?) Ask her whether she thinks catching others’ eyes is a good idea, and ask her what other ways she can think of to do that. See what she says. If she can’t think of anything, wait till you’re outside in town and ask here what catches her eye easily, and see if that makes her think of anything. She might have a bright coat that she likes. She might realise that her lights can be used in the day. Kids are pretty smart, and IMO it’s better to guide them into their own thoughts rather than to dogmatically impose things.

    Of course, also explain to her that if a driver isn’t looking, they won’t see her anyway. Don’t leave her with blind faith of these things making her immune from others.

    But presumably a 7yo isn’t riding alone among motor traffic, though? A parent is with her, I guess? When I ride with my 6yo for brief stretches of road, I make it my job to position myself where I’m highly visible (and first in line to be taken out) so he doesn’t need to be.

    Oh, and keep dropping in questions like “if you had a separate cycleway to ride on do you think you’d need to clutch at all the straws you can to feel safe?” every so often; an additional campaigner in 10+ years’ time won’t go amiss 😉

    Premier Icon philjunior
    Free Member

    Oh, on a more helpful note, make it cool and it’ll work. Hi-vis vests will never be cool, regardless of the shade of hi-viz.

    Retina searing jackets etc. with plenty of reflectives may well be. Obviously hi viz is no use at night, and reflectives are no use to guard against drivers without their lights on, of which there will be plenty. Bright lights are fairly cool too I’d say.

    Unlike all her cousins, my daughter has never tried to escape from the seatbelt, which I always told her was just like racing drivers use to go really fast.

    Premier Icon isitafox
    Free Member

    My boys (5 and 8) love wearing their Frog hi viz vests to go to school?!

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Free Member

    Get a helmet with some hi-vis and use a rear light. That is my personal SOP. She will be wearing a helmet, and will be riding a bike with a light. Mine hates a Hump fir his rucksack but will always ride with a rear light.

    Premier Icon Gotama
    Free Member

    What about the pro-viz stuff? Looks pretty ordinary grey until a car headlight catches it. Or get her the pink rapha stuff and then she’ll be bang on trend 🙂

    Premier Icon brakes
    Free Member

    simple, either wear it or NO PUDDING!!!

    Premier Icon eulach
    Free Member

    Edited to be a bit more constructive:
    Maybe a hi vis that’s not a high vis is the best solution as suggested above.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Full Member

    How handy are you (or anyone you know) with a sewing machine?

    Get her to pick some fabric she likes and pick up some reflective fabric tape (eBay if not easily found elsewhere). Then you have a rainy afternoon activity making her own that she actually likes.

    Premier Icon hebdencyclist
    Free Member

    I think Bez has nailed this thread.

    If you continue insisting on her wearing a day-glo yellow thing that research shows will make no difference to her likelihood of being taken out by some simpleton in a Range Rover, all that will happen is that she’ll stop cycling. Probably for ever.

    By the way, I think it’s BRILLIANT that you have your daughter cycle to school. I wish mine did (they’d love to) but not logistically possible.

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)

The topic ‘STW parents – Making my 7 year old wear a hi-viz to cycle to school.’ is closed to new replies.