Helmets for new crawlers/walkers...needed? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-01-2009, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reading on another thread about helmets for babies who are sitting, crawling or walking on hard floor surfaces and bumping their heads. Got me wondering...how potentially serious is a bump to the back, front or side of the head from normal height of sitting, crawling or walking on the floor? Could it cause unseen long term damage?

I googled and seen these helmets specifically for new walkers etc...
http://www.thudguard.com/
http://www.babynobumps.com/index.html

Tina - mama to DD1 10.75yrs, DD2 6yrs, DD3 2.5 yrs & baby due in June 2015 and wifey to DH.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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Wow.
My concern would be that a child with something around their neck is a strangulation hazard. There are lots of warnings against putting a helmet on your child on a playground. There is a risk of falls there (with serious consequences) but the risk of strangulation is greater. I noticed on the first site they say to check every 5 minutes for overheating and to watch during climbing because the strap could "snag". I assume a snag during climbing could result in strangulation. Scary I think.
And we had a lot of head bumps here with no ill effects. The head is strong and the force of a small child walking or crawling is nothing like falling down steps or being in an accident. I just can't imagine any great risk of serious injuries from crawling or walking that these types of helmets would do anything to prevent. And I would think there are greater/more likely risks associated with their use.

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Old 03-01-2009, 01:55 AM
 
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Eh- quite honestly I don't think my little guy would tolerate either one well, and I suppose we strive to smply create as safe an environment for him to explore as we can. We have hard floors, but have put down rugs where he plays. We removed pointy corners at head-banging height, and we make sure he won't fall from any significant height...

I think that the bumps and bruises that come with exploring as they learn to walk and run are important, hard to watch, but important for them to experience. Gravity will always win, I prefer that they learn that before they are strong enough to climb too high.

My oldest did have one run in at age 3 with a kitchen counter. She ran indoors, and slamed into the corner at mid-forhead height. We did take a trip to the ER for an evaluation, and all was well. Would I have prevented that if I could? Certainly, but I don't think a helmet would have been the best way to do that. If I had looked at the layout of the kitchen, tht pointy corner was right in a walkway, and it should have been moved somewhere safer. I think that's a better practice than constantly keeping kids in a hemet.

Additionally, I'm an EMT- I don't generally worry about falls/bumps/bruises in little kids unless they are onto a pointed/rough surface, or from a height that is more than 2X the child's height.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:11 AM
 
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Wow. I'm sure that would be real handy for some children with special needs. But for a typical child? No, I would never use one. I work at a daycare in the infant room (infant being until at least 12 months and walking fairly well). We have hard wood floors in that room. We have 2 big square mats too but the babies do NOT stay on them (as any mobile baby wouldn't). I've seen my share of falls, unfortunately, on the wood floor. But no lasting damage to any baby Just some bumps and bruises here and there, which- the way I see it- is part of life.

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:23 AM
 
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Really? A helmet?? Wow... millions, no.. billions of people have learned to walk and not suffered long term brain damage from bumping their heads.

I wouldn't put a helmet on a child unless they were prone to violent seizures and needed to protect their skull.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:13 AM
 
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I think I read somewhere that part of the reason the skull doesn't fuse right away, in addition to allowing for growth, is to take some bumps and bruises during development. From what I understood, that meant that the skull sort of has some (not lots) of natural shock absorption built in for the minor bumps of infancy/toddlerhood.

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Old 03-01-2009, 03:45 AM
 
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So you put this helmet on your child every day, all day, for, like, months on end? Eek! I can't imagine the fights I would have had over that idea. No, my kids definitely wouldn't have agreed to wearing those helmets.

My kids are active and bumped their heads often when learning to crawl and walk. They are 4 1/2 and 3 and they still bump their heads often, actually. My 3-year-old has an ugly bruise on his forehead right now, due to a bad combination of wood floor + chasing game + pajamas. But I still don't think he needs a helmet.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:55 AM
 
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babies are so close to the ground, when they fall, they aren't going far enough to get hurt. Granted when my baby flops backwards on the hardwood, it does sting a bit, and she does cry, but I highly doubt it could cause any damage.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:00 AM
 
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These helmets get spammed at every website at some point.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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I'm not reading the other replies but, isn't that only for children with specific disorders or problems, like if you have multiples whose heads are particularly soft or something? Otherwise, I am sure that the cons outweigh the pros. There is just no way I'd put a helmet on my kid for walking.

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Old 03-01-2009, 04:56 AM
 
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I think they are rediculous unless your child has special needs. Really, you can't wrap your child in bubble wrap. Falling and bumps and bruises are part of growing up. Minimize the dangers in your house and let kids be kids!

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Old 03-01-2009, 06:15 AM
 
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Our first bumped his head on the coffee table about eight times while learning to crawl. After that, he knew where it was, and never did it again.

Our second learned to crawl at a younger age and on hardwood floors. He faceplanted repeatedly, and split his lip about once a month. Dramatic amounts of blood, some crying, no permanent damage. (And FWIW, if he hadn't popped his first tooth at eleven WEEKS he probably wouldn't have kept cutting his lip with those bumps, either.)

Now DS2 is learning to walk. He falls a lot... on his butt. Actually, he sits down more than falls. He knows the risks, and he does just fine.

I'd think that a helmet like this would teach a kid that falling and banging your head doesn't hurt, and so there's no particular reason to avoid it. Doesn't seem like a great idea to me.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:48 AM
 
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Well, according to babynobumps inventor, millions of people have unknown brain damage from hitting their heads as children. You'll note she has no links to back that up, and her reference is 'a doctor in Florida'.

Honestly. Other than that I'm speechless.

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Old 03-01-2009, 08:29 AM
 
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We've managed to survive as a species without helments for learning walkers, although I do love the advertising copy that "millions of people have brain damage..." I have never seen a brain-injured child whose injury was caused by a fall from standing height while learning to walk. Granted, I am "a doctor in NC" not "a doctor in Florida" as cited in the ad copy, so perhaps there is an epidemic to the South of which I am unaware.

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Old 03-01-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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There are real and present fall hazards, like the recent study talking about falls from children not strapped into infant carriers, or bumbos on tables, etc. But crawling? Learning to walk? I can't imagine that would be worth it unless you had a special situation. For instance, my sister was in a severe car crash (in the front seat, no booster) and sustained a serious head injury requiring emergency brain surgery. She was 7, and for a while, had to wear a helmet (just a regular bike helmet, FWIW) to protect her skull while it healed. It was a huge PITA and her and my parents (and probably her teacher) were all quite relieved when she didn't have to wear it anymore!

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Old 03-01-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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Ok, let me get this straight: millions of people in Florida have undiagnosed brain damage?



(Apologies to any Floridians reading this post... clearly, you're not among the millions this particular doctor has diagnosed, or you wouldn't be on Mothering!)
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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What a silly thing.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage_SS View Post
Really? A helmet?? Wow... millions, no.. billions of people have learned to walk and not suffered long term brain damage from bumping their heads.

I wouldn't put a helmet on a child unless they were prone to violent seizures and needed to protect their skull.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DahliaRW View Post
I think they are rediculous unless your child has special needs. Really, you can't wrap your child in bubble wrap. Falling and bumps and bruises are part of growing up. Minimize the dangers in your house and let kids be kids!
:
Kids need to be kids. That includes the ones just learning to walk. Sure, they fall, they bump, they get bruised and scrapped. It's all a part of life. I personally believe it all serves a purpose. Teaches the child natural consequences. If you run face first into a wall, it hurts, don't do it again. Things like that.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:44 AM
 
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When my oldest son was a baby we lived in a duplex built during WWII for employees of a bomb building factory. The housing was supposed to be temporary and people are still living there. The floors were this brown tile that no matter how much you washed it brown came up on the bottom of your socks. I wouldn't let my son down on the floor.

I would take him outside on a blanket on the grass and played with him on the bed. He never crawled, because I didn't let him. I was afraid he would get all dirty from whatever the floor was made of and I was afraid he would hurt his head. Even when he could walk I wouldn't let him.

We moved when he was 15 months and bought a mobile home. We put in all new floors and it was the safest home environment for kids as I have ever seen. He got to run and play and climb and lots of large motor toys.

This was the early 1980's. When he was about 5 research came out that kids that didn't crawl could have reading problems. We were lucky - he taught himself to read when he was around 4. His brothers that crawled didn't read until they were 12 (homeschooled).

If there would have been helmets it would have been better for me to have put a helmet on my son than to not let him on the floor. We now live in Arizona and have tile floor. I'm worried about my grandson (5 months) but I figure most homes in Tucson have tile and I haven't heard of it being an issue with toddlers.

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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I'm sure I'm going to hell for this....

But, the Baby No Bumps helmet - the one who quoted the random doctor about the millions of us who have brain damage - was apparently invented by a grandmother.

Can you imagine your mother or MIL coming over and saying, "You know, *insert your name here*, I've been very worried about junior bumping his head now that he's crawling/walking... so I invented this helmet for him! Let's try it on! Every kid should have one!"

That would be horrible.

While I completely understand the need for certain special needs children to have helmets for safety reasons, these things seem over the top.

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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How odd.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post
This was the early 1980's. When he was about 5 research came out that kids that didn't crawl could have reading problems.
That research was unreplicable, and has been widely discredited since. I looked into it a lot when it looked like DS1 was going to skip crawling.

Also, the research was about children who have the opportunity to learn to crawl, but don't; instead, they scoot, or commando-crawl, or bear-walk, or just skip it all and go straight to cruising and walking.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post
If there would have been helmets it would have been better for me to have put a helmet on my son than to not let him on the floor. We now live in Arizona and have tile floor. I'm worried about my grandson (5 months) but I figure most homes in Tucson have tile and I haven't heard of it being an issue with toddlers.
But you said you didn't want him crawling because of the brown stuff on the floor. How would the helmet keep that off of his skin?

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Old 03-03-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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We now live in Arizona and have tile floor. I'm worried about my grandson (5 months) but I figure most homes in Tucson have tile and I haven't heard of it being an issue with toddlers.
We lived in an apartment with tile floor, my children had plenty of falls and no lasting injuries from them.

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Old 03-03-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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lol... we joked about making our DD wear one when she started walked at 7.5 months.

i was concerned that since she was so young, she wouldn't have the cause and effect thing down well enough to associate injury with actions.
it didn't end up being an issue, though.

her sonly "serious" injury came when she was about 12 months old and running full tilt, went flying into a door jam and hit her head hard enough to make her throw up twice.

apparently even that is ok. i took her in to her pediatrician, even thought eh advice nurse told me she was probably fine-- which she was
i also took her to a chiropractor later that evening. i'm not sure who those visits helped more-- my baby or her frantic mama
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
Millions of people in Florida have undiagnosed brain damage?
It could be true.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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There have been many times when i wished they made giant hamster balls that i could stick my child in so that he didn't hurt himself. LOL but never seriously.

I would worry that something that is meant to be restrictive could hinder brain development since children under 12 months grow sooooo quickly. Wouldn't that somewhat restrict the growth of their skull?
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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That would immediately be part of the "worst parenting thing someone's ever said to you" thread in Life with a Babe.

Oh dear.
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