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Thread: Helmets for the wee ones

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    Default Helmets for the wee ones

    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).

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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by hozn; 08-09-2016 at 05:58 PM.

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check out the FB page and see about dragging everyone to a bike shop for helmet trying.

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    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 . . .

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    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. (For reference, they also recommend 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.
    Last edited by cvcalhoun; 09-09-2016 at 12:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mello yello View Post
    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 (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.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpfan View Post
    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.

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