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#31 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aniT View Post
Regardless of what they "knew" it is unsafe to put a with baby that age in a bike seat that is made for children that are 12+ months old with a helmet made for children that are 12+ months old and doesn't allow the baby to hold his/her head up.
The age is a guess. I've seen a 13 month old I would have guessed at age 3-4 months.
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#32 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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The age is a guess. I've seen a 13 month old I would have guessed at age 3-4 months.
If the babe is a 13 month old the size of a 4 month old and the helmet was so heavy he couldn't hold up his head, he o\is still too small for the seat.

OP I will answer you when I am not NAk.
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#33 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:15 AM
 
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I don't really think there is a way to say something in a case like this without guaranteeing the parents wouldn't be offended or get defensive.

A lot of moms can get offended just by someone saying simple words that might be correcting a/their child because they see it as someone telling them they aren't parenting correctly. What do you think a parent might do if you are actually telling them they aren't parenting correctly?

Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn't say anything when safety is concerned. If you feel you need to be the child's voice then you should do so. But I don't think that we should be worried about offending...most likely it will be offensive just because so many people are so sensitive.

IMO, sometimes people need to get offended in order for change to happen.
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#34 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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If the babe is a 13 month old the size of a 4 month old and the helmet was so heavy he couldn't hold up his head, he o\is still too small for the seat.
I have a friend that has an 18 month old that wears 6 month clothing. He is very small. Being able to ride in a carrier or trailer has more to do with bone mass and muscle tone than it does with size. I'm sure this child was younger than one-year old, no doubt....but if I was the mother of a child who was that small I wouldn't sit around not riding a bike without my child....

I use a trailer though which is safer than carriers.
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#35 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:23 AM
 
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I guess I would just say to the parents that the baby is so upset and ask if he has colic? That would probably open up the discussion without sounding like I'm attacking them.

For instance, I could say, "ooh he's so upset! does he have colic?"
And they might say, "Yeah, he does and we haven't slept in four months and we're zombies and practically insane by now!"

Or they might say, "No he doesn't." And stare at you like you are a freak.

Or maybe they will reply with, "No, but he's so upset right now!" To which you would reply, "Oh my baby used to do that to, actually sometimes my kids do to." Maybe if you stopped and talked to them they might decide to stop and take a break with their baby. Maybe they wanted to stop but felt like everyone was staring at them and felt uncomfortable.

I think there could be a few things going on here. One, is that they may be very new parents and struggling with *new life* and *old life*. I've seen so so so many new parents try to do things in a desparate attempt that they would've done before - it's like one final grasp at their old life, they don't care if the baby is crying - they've just got to trrrrrrrrrrryyyy!

Or, it's like their fifth kid and they're just tuning it out.

Or, the baby has colic.

Who knows. It's not your job to give them advice or snide parenting comments. If you want to help, talk to them like you'd talk to anyone.
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#36 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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I would write a post to Portland craigslist and also contact the organizers of the race. I would write it as if *of course* no one who *knew* this was dangerous would have done it, so let's educate people on safety.
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#37 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I totally agree with you janasmama. The problem is, I don't have any sort of poker face, and when I'm upset I often come across so strong that I lose my credibility. People just think I'm a nut. I guess what I'm actually looking for is something like a script. A way to approach this topic (or others like it) with the parent so I don't get immediately dismissed. Some of the earlier posts were very helpful. I hope there will be some more specific examples of what I could have said. I know some of the mama's here are amazing diplomats! :

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#38 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:35 AM
 
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I would probably say something about how it seems the helmet is too heavy for the babe and he is having trouble holding his head up. I would phrase this in such a way that would seem that I think they were unaware of this since their back was to the babe. I think I would also say something like, "OH you might not be aware of this.. but those seats are for older children. Trailers are much safer for smaller babes.. they can ride in them once they are a year old."
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#39 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you 3_opihi. That is the kind of wise advice I need to hear! And yes, urklemama, I think you are right in that I should contact the sponsers of the race. It was one of our local hospitals and they are very concerned with bike safety. Thanks for suggesting it!

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#40 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:50 AM
 
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Laughing at a crying baby??

Let me guess, typical young, hipster child-free crowd? Just a guess based on the even, but I could be totally wrong.
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#41 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses mamas! Talking about this has helped me put things in perspective and calmed me down quite a bit. I should be able to get some sleep tonight now, so I'm going to go hit the sack. Blessings all!

Judy mom to Dash (9), Corbin (7) and Will (3) :
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#42 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 03:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aniT View Post
Leave the baby with Grandma? Mom stay home with babe while dad rides.. or vice versa. It is not safe for a three month old to ride in one of those bike seats. Not to mention the fact that they don't make helmets that small. They were putting their baby in danger, ignoring cries and laughing at a baby in an unsafe situation is not OK.
ITA.

We didn't go out much, if at all, during our son's first few months. He was much more important than any other activity we previously enjoyed. We got back to our normal lives soon enough. And we didn't have to let him cry and cry while we explored our hobbies.
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#43 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
The trailer + carseat doesn't have anything like the suspension of a car, nor were you on paved roads (smooth trails isn't as smooth as asphalt). However it felt to you in comparison to a car, it's much, much harder on baby's neck tendons, and can cause injury... which is why the manufacturers all recommend against using any kind of bike trailer or seat for children under 12 months.
Smooth trails = paved/asphalt trails. We have TONS of really really nice paved trails here for biking... miles of them. Do most places not have that? She was far less jostled that walking with me holding the carseat.

Again... I'm always amazed at how fellow moms assume the worst in each other.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#44 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, with your encouragement, I'm trying to take this upsetting incident and turn it into positive action. I've written a letter that I plan to send to both the hospital that sponsors the bike ride and the paper that presents it. Here it is. What do you all think?
My family rode in the Providence Bridge Pedal for the first time this year. We rode in the 6-Bridge Family Ride and had a wonderful time. However, along the route I noticed a safety issue that I think should be addressed both by the ride organizers, and the bicycle community as a whole. That issue is proper infant support and restraint while on a bicycle.

While on the ride we saw a little baby riding in a carrier seat on the back of his father’s bicycle. The baby was around three or four months old. While the baby was restrained in the seat and had a helmet on, the baby was not supported properly by the seat nor could it hold his head up.

These types of bicycle seats carry a warning against putting babies this young in them. The baby seat I use with my youngest has this posted as it’s first warning...

! CAUTION
Carry only a child who is able to hold his/her head up while wearing a correctly sized bibycle helmet. The age and weight limits for the Baby Seat rack are 1-4 years old, and 20 lbs - 40 lbs (9 Kgs - 18 Kgs) respectively. Never exceed these limits.

and later it says...

Failure to comply with these operating instructions can lead to serious injury or death of the bicycle operator and/or child.

I think I am not out-of line when I state that the baby was in a dangerous situation it should not have been in. Because of it’s age and lack of muscle tone, that baby could have been seriously injured had his father taken even a small spill during the ride.

I would like to see the Bridge Pedal organizers address this issue. Perhaps they can request that small infants ride only in properly supported seats in bike trailers during the ride.

I would also like to see one of the booths at the Providence Bridge Pedal Health and Wellness Expo that specifically points out the dangers of carrying a small infant in a bike mounted seat.

Lastly, I would like for other bike riders to recognize a dangerous situation when they see it and have the courage to speak up. I know I wish I had had the presence of mind to say something to that young couple when I noticed how little the baby in the bike seat was. It might have ruined their day, but hopefully in the long run it would have made them more aware of their baby’s safety.

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#45 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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OK this is the last time I will say this.

This isn't simply a matter of a crying baby. We are talking about a baby that is in an unsafe situation.
And the first post was about the crying baby and thats what I was addressing, thank you very much.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#46 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I mentioned bike trailers as a solution in my letter, but just checked my own trailer and it does specifically state not to put children unter 12 mos old in it, AND not to install a car seat in it. Are there any ways to carry an infant safely while bike riding that I can recommend to the organizers of this event, or should I specifically ask them to actively discourage infants under 12 mos from attending. What are your thoughts?

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#47 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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Very well said! Hopefully next time they have it the people staffing the event can keep their eyes out for this problem.
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#48 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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And the first post was about the crying baby and thats what I was addressing, thank you very much.
You had already addressed that in post 13. In post 15 it was pointed out that the safety issue was the real problem but in post 16 you continued to focus on the crying issue. I was once again pointing out the the real issue was the safety issue. Thank you very much.
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#49 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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I mentioned bike trailers as a solution in my letter, but just checked my own trailer and it does specifically state not to put children unter 12 mos old in it, AND not to install a car seat in it. Are there any ways to carry an infant safely while bike riding that I can recommend to the organizers of this race, or should I specifically ask them to actively discourage infants under 12 mos from attending. What are your thoughts?
That is a very good letter. I am not aware of any way to "safely" carry a child under 12 months on a bike. We have always waited until our children were at least 12 months old.
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#50 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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Nobody we have met in the injury prevention field recommends taking an infant of less than 12 months in a bicycle child seat, trailer, sidecar or any other carrier. Nobody. And we do not either.

New York state law prohibits it. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission thinks it is dangerous to take a child under one year on a bicycle, and here is their rationale:

Maurice Keenan, MD, from the American Academy of Pediatrics [21], requested that a minimum age of 1 year be reflected on the label for helmets intended for children under age 5. This would better convey the message that infants (children under age 1) should not be passengers on a bicycle under any circumstance.

The Commission agrees with the commenter that children under 1 year of age should not be on bicycles. Children are just learning to sit unsupported at about 9 months of age. Until this age, infants have not developed sufficient bone mass and muscle tone to enable them to sit unsupported with their backs straight. Pediatricians advise against having infants sitting in a slumped or curled position for prolonged periods. This position may even be exacerbated by the added weight of a bicycle helmet on the infant�s head. Because pediatricians recommend against having children under age 1 as passengers on bicycles, the Commission does not want the certification label to imply that children under age 1 can ride safely.

Source: 16 CFR Part 1203 Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets; Final Rule, page 11726
http://www.helmets.org/little1s.htm
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#51 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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I think the letter looks great, OP. I'm glad you are actively seeking to improve the safety of your community!! I would have been very upset to see that too. Good response!
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#52 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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I'm not going to get into whether it's safe to carry a baby on bike or not. It's probably not - but this is sounding very American-centric to me. I'm *pretty* sure a large portion of the world carries babies around on their backs/bikes/heads/car/bus and yep, it's dangerous for sure but I'm not sure it's worth specifically calling out a pair of parents in the newspaper, kwim? In fact, I know there is a bike seat in the Netherlands, that actually attaches to the front of the bike, like a basket and people use them all the time. But of course, in America it's to dangerous to use. We're just a dangerous country.

Sometimes you've just got to let things go. I've done plenty of stupid things to my kids in public. The last thing I need is for someone to write a letter to the newspaper about it.
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#53 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks aniT! That is just the type of supporting documentation I need to add.

Judy mom to Dash (9), Corbin (7) and Will (3) :
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#54 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DashsMama View Post
I mentioned bike trailers as a solution in my letter, but just checked my own trailer and it does specifically state not to put children unter 12 mos old in it, AND not to install a car seat in it. Are there any ways to carry an infant safely while bike riding that I can recommend to the organizers of this event, or should I specifically ask them to actively discourage infants under 12 mos from attending. What are your thoughts?
Mine doesn't... but mine is also over 9 years old. It says nothing about a carseat on it. No idea what the newer ones say, but I believe you. (Whether I agree with it or not is something entirely different and I leave up to each parent to decide for themselves and their specific child and situation - just like all things in life)

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#55 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3_opihi View Post
I'm not going to get into whether it's safe to carry a baby on bike or not. It's probably not - but this is sounding very American-centric to me. I'm *pretty* sure a large portion of the world carries babies around on their backs/bikes/heads/car/bus and yep, it's dangerous for sure but I'm not sure it's worth specifically calling out a pair of parents in the newspaper, kwim? In fact, I know there is a bike seat in the Netherlands, that actually attaches to the front of the bike, like a basket and people use them all the time. But of course, in America it's to dangerous to use. We're just a dangerous country.

Sometimes you've just got to let things go. I've done plenty of stupid things to my kids in public. The last thing I need is for someone to write a letter to the newspaper about it.
What she is trying to do with the letter is point out the safety issues with having a child that age on a bike. As pointed out in my post, it is even illegal in some states.

Portland is one of the most bike friendly cities in the US. It would fall to reason that safety issue be made public as a PSA.

While I do agree with you that sometimes the US goes too far in their "safety" regulations, when it comes to the safety of a small infant I think it is prudent to follow them.
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#56 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3_opihi View Post
I'm not going to get into whether it's safe to carry a baby on bike or not. It's probably not - but this is sounding very American-centric to me. I'm *pretty* sure a large portion of the world carries babies around on their backs/bikes/heads/car/bus and yep, it's dangerous for sure but I'm not sure it's worth specifically calling out a pair of parents in the newspaper, kwim? In fact, I know there is a bike seat in the Netherlands, that actually attaches to the front of the bike, like a basket and people use them all the time. But of course, in America it's to dangerous to use. We're just a dangerous country.

Sometimes you've just got to let things go. I've done plenty of stupid things to my kids in public. The last thing I need is for someone to write a letter to the newspaper about it.
ITA.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#57 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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Here is one of those front mounted seats from Australia. It is recommended for toddlers.

http://www.weeride.com.au/

Quote:
So when can you start using a WeeRide, and when will your child out-grow it?

The short answer is that in Australia there is no law that specifies a minimum age, although the law requires that child must wear a helmet. That said - common sense would suggest it's around the age of 1 - since that is when a baby's neck is strong enough to hold a helmet. Of course all childern are different, we started riding with our daughter when she was about 10 months old, following advice from our GP..
Here is a site from the UK

http://www.growingkids.co.uk/Bicycle...ForBabies.html
Quote:
Keeping children safe on bicycles starts well before they ever get up on their own bikes, but that doesn’t mean that beautiful bouncing babies should become beautiful biking babies. Medical experts around the world agree that children under the age of 12 months are not yet developed enough to withstand the rigors of bike-riding, or enjoying the scenery from a bike seat or trailer. Some even believe that children under the age of 24 months are better off practicing their walking rather than their biking.

Check with your GP before you put your baby on a bike, but no matter what remember:

* No one should be on a bike, bike seat or be in a bike trailer without wearing a helmet.

* Babies’ neck muscles are not strong enough to hold up a helmet until they are at least 12 months old, so wait a full year until putting your baby on a bike.
This doesn't seem to be solely a US recommendation.
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#58 of 58 Old 08-11-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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poor little thing. they are putting THEIR wants above their babys.
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