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mello yello
08-09-2016, 01:34 PM
I requested a trailer for my birthday, and I'm looking forward to towing around my son, who just turned one year old.

Before I strap him in and ride off, I know you're supposed to wear helmets even strapped into the trailer. Does anyone have recommendations? I'm not thinking that we'll go for the $50 designer helmet here, since he's growing so fast and we'll probably only use the trailer a few times this year since we don't get out bicycling as recreation so much.

I don't even know what makes a good kid's helmet... there must be more to it than how I pick out my own (whatever's on the shelf at Costco every 3 years).

dasgeh
08-09-2016, 02:23 PM
All the helmets are safety-rated, so they're all about the same from that perspective. For the wee ones, you just have to make sure (1) it fits and (2) they'll wear it. For 1, it's obviously best if you can try it on first - either in a shop or borrowing a friend's. For 2, there's a lot you can do, but as they get older, letting them choose the helmet can help them want to wear it.

A bunch of stores have at least some kids' helmets in stock. If you need recs, let us know where you are. Oh, and the DC Family Biking Facebook group is a good resource.

hozn
08-09-2016, 05:17 PM
Things I would consider:
- get a helmet with a flat (or non-protruding) back.
- Some kids helmets have MIPS
- I would pay extra for buckles that don't pinch
- I would pay extra for light weight on tiny necks/bodies.

Lazer P'Nut is the last kids one I bought, but my kids have big heads so even the 2-year-old wears an adult helmet.

mello yello
08-10-2016, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check out the FB page and see about dragging everyone to a bike shop for helmet trying.

antennariidae
08-17-2016, 01:52 PM
I went through the same thing with my now four year old. I found this page helpful in a number of ways:

www.twowheelingtots.com

At the end of the day, I took him to the shop, let him try some on and let him pick the one he wanted (after making sure it actually fit). I was quite surprised hot much the fit can vary between models. That being said, I shouldn't have been as I have had helmets for me that fit better than others . . .

Terpfan
09-09-2016, 10:46 AM
Since we're on the subject, it's killing me that I haven't been able to bike as much with our daughter. How young can you put them in the trailer? Is it 1 year old the regular cutoff? My one day riding last week made me realize I really need (well, want, but feel need is also accurate) to be back on my bike.

hozn
09-09-2016, 11:08 AM
Since we're on the subject, it's killing me that I haven't been able to bike as much with our daughter. How young can you put them in the trailer? Is it 1 year old the regular cutoff? My one day riding last week made me realize I really need (well, want, but feel need is also accurate) to be back on my bike.

I think that's the general guideline, but it's more about how strong their little necks are (and probably how heavy a helmet you're putting on their heads that there necks have to support). I rode with my [large] sons in the trailer before 1 year -- a couple rides in 10/11 month timeframe. Some trailers (e.g. Chariots) also have suspension, which makes for a softer ride. And you can keep the tire pressure pretty low too to avoid making the ride to jarring.

cvcalhoun
09-09-2016, 12:36 PM
Since we're on the subject, it's killing me that I haven't been able to bike as much with our daughter. How young can you put them in the trailer? Is it 1 year old the regular cutoff? My one day riding last week made me realize I really need (well, want, but feel need is also accurate) to be back on my bike.

American Academy of Pediatrics will tell you not before one year. But the issue really is their ability to hold their head (and a helmet) up. Most parents I know think nine months is fine.

And remember, American Academy of Pediatrics is incredibly conservative. They tell you never to bike with children at all except in parks, on bike paths, and on quiet streets (http://www.aappublications.org/content/30/7/18.6.pdf-extract.jpeg). (For reference, they also recommend (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/2/802.full) that kids not walk alone until the age of 10.) Now, I'm sure we would all be safer if we rode only in such places, but you can't always get from here to there by them. And by the same token, we'd all (especially children) be safer if we never drove anywhere. But treating bicycling on streets as unacceptably risky seems to be going pretty far.

cvcalhoun
09-09-2016, 12:45 PM
I requested a trailer for my birthday, and I'm looking forward to towing around my son, who just turned one year old.

Before I strap him in and ride off, I know you're supposed to wear helmets even strapped into the trailer. Does anyone have recommendations? I'm not thinking that we'll go for the $50 designer helmet here, since he's growing so fast and we'll probably only use the trailer a few times this year since we don't get out bicycling as recreation so much.

I don't even know what makes a good kid's helmet... there must be more to it than how I pick out my own (whatever's on the shelf at Costco every 3 years).

Whatever's on the shelf at Costco every 3 years is not a bad guideline, actually. They all have to meet the same safety standards.

That being said, you might look at the Raskullz helmets. (I got the one for my granddaughter from Target, but Costco may well have them.) They come in various designs that appeal to children. My granddaughter's is the monkey one (http://www.raskullz.com/shop/monkey-raskullz-miniz/) (picture below). Persuading her that she'd look like a monkey helped get her into it the first time. And after a couple of rides, she understood that helmets were a necessity for rides. I once put her in the trailer without one on, and she immediately screamed that she needed her helmet. (I was in fact going to put the helmet on before we started up, but thought it was okay to put her in there first, add helmet immediately afterward.)

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mello yello
09-09-2016, 02:13 PM
Since we're on the subject, it's killing me that I haven't been able to bike as much with our daughter. How young can you put them in the trailer? Is it 1 year old the regular cutoff? My one day riding last week made me realize I really need (well, want, but feel need is also accurate) to be back on my bike.

Generally 1 year is the cutoff, they have to be able to support their head with the helmet, and be large enough to be securely strapped in the trailer seats without the "infant inserts" which have disclaimers all over them about not being used with a bicycle... at least the Thule one does. 8 months is as young as I've ever heard of anyone putting a big, strapping baby into a trailer, but I haven't been doing this long and probably wouldn't advocate for that anyway. It's a judgement call.

mello yello
09-09-2016, 02:58 PM
Whatever's on the shelf at Costco every 3 years is not a bad guideline, actually. They all have to meet the same safety standards.

That being said, you might look at the Raskullz helmets. (I got the one for my granddaughter from Target, but Costco may well have them.) They come in various designs that appeal to children. My granddaughter's is the monkey one (http://www.raskullz.com/shop/monkey-raskullz-miniz/) (picture below). Persuading her that she'd look like a monkey helped get her into it the first time. And after a couple of rides, she understood that helmets were a necessity for rides. I once put her in the trailer without one on, and she immediately screamed that she needed her helmet. (I was in fact going to put the helmet on before we started up, but thought it was okay to put her in there first, add helmet immediately afterward.)


Thanks! I ended up getting a Laser B.O.B. "chick" from the Family Biking Facebook page, and it fits him pretty well. He's not old enough to be excited about looking like any type of animal yet... but those days are coming soon!


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dasgeh
09-09-2016, 03:07 PM
Since we're on the subject, it's killing me that I haven't been able to bike as much with our daughter. How young can you put them in the trailer? Is it 1 year old the regular cutoff? My one day riding last week made me realize I really need (well, want, but feel need is also accurate) to be back on my bike.

(I'm not a trailer expert, but for seats...) The key is neck strength, which puts you anywhere between 6 months and a year+. A good test is to put the helmet on the kid as they sit and play. Does it seem like they are holding their head + helmet up without trouble? Great.

Best practice is to go first on a short ride, and lengthen from there. Some kids are ok for 10 minutes, but not 30. If you can get a front seat, even better, because you can see the kid and watch for head nodding that would indicate neck fatigue.

In the documentary Babies, they definitely put a younger kid in the trailer. I've also heard of people putting a car seat bucket (NO HELMET) in the trailer. I'm not a trailer expert, so YMMV.

Terpfan
09-09-2016, 03:22 PM
Thanks all for replies--helpful in figuring it out. Hmm, well the good thing for me is doc said she had a really strong neck at 4 month checkup. So maybe I'll wait a few months and buy a helmet to let her wear around inside some to see how she does. The plus side for me is that daycare dropoff is maybe only 1 mile from my house. But still, I want to err on the side of caution.

mello yello
09-09-2016, 03:45 PM
I've also heard of people putting a car seat bucket (NO HELMET) in the trailer. I'm not a trailer expert, so YMMV.

There are contoured inserts made for the bike trailers, but they all come with warnings (liability only? best practice?) that they are for stroller mode only.
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That said, up to you. The kid is strapped in with a 5-point harness into a light, stiff roll cage... and if you use a sling/baby snuggler/ car seat adapter (haven't seen one) and pull the trailer behind the bike, don't also put a helmet on them!

hozn
09-09-2016, 11:13 PM
Yeah, a fiend of mine was towing his kid in the snuggler insert from a pretty young age (4-6mos?). I know they advise against using those for the bike, but obviously you can use your judgement on the safety/risk. The harnesses are pretty impressive. And the upside to trailers in general is you don't take the kids down with you if you take a spill. I probably wouldn't have done that with my kids, even ignoring any risk factor, because I think it would have made the transition to helmets harder.