Infant in a Bike Trailer? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-16-2009, 03:08 AM
 
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A bike trailer is not nearly as sturdy as a car, for one. It's pretty much just tubes and cloth. A car has to meet much stricter standards and is made of metal with lots of shock absorbant material. Huge difference. Also, bikes and trailers are much less visible to drivers than cars, so unless you plan on never crossing a road or riding only on bike paths, you will be on the road with huge hulking hunks of metal all around you (cars, trucks, etc.).

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Old 08-16-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pookietooth View Post
A bike trailer is not nearly as sturdy as a car, for one. It's pretty much just tubes and cloth. A car has to meet much stricter standards and is made of metal with lots of shock absorbant material. Huge difference. Also, bikes and trailers are much less visible to drivers than cars, so unless you plan on never crossing a road or riding only on bike paths, you will be on the road with huge hulking hunks of metal all around you (cars, trucks, etc.).
But if those huge hunks of metal drive over you, a helmet is not going to help. I figure there are people who use bikes as their primary mode of transport - even with infants. In the trailer they will be as safe as can be expected, even sans helmet. I would guess that even without a helmet, a baby is safer in a bike trailer than in a car properly secured in a carseat (statistically speaking).
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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YES your child needs a helmet in a bike trailer if in cycling mode. The "roll cage" that some have described is NOT necessarily a roll cage. In some trailers, it's merely a frame holding the fabric that may not actually contain the child's head. My friend just bought a Schwinn trailer, the frame holds the fabric up but is useless for protecting the child as it sits behind the child's head and if the trailer tipped over, the child's head would smack the pavement. Additionally, even in a 5 point harness a child's head could hit the frame in a rollover.

The 5 point harness is NOT the same as the 5 point harness in a car seat. Think more like stroller 5 point harness. A harness adjuster could slip or slide in a rollover and loosen just enough to allow the child to move enough to hit their head on something.

Also, in the manuals I've read (Burley, Chariot and Trek), the manufacturer's instructions specify to wear a helmet in cycling mode.

Sure the helmet might not help in some high speed crash where a vehicle hits the trailer or drives over it, but a helmet is likely to help in other bike trailer accidents which are parents flipping the trailer when going over a curb or other rough terrain, a collision with a pedestrian, etc.

As for age, the trailer manufacturers say at least a year when attached to a bicycle (can be younger in stroller mode with infant accessories). If a person is going to use a helmet on their child, it's not likely you'll find one that fits an infant. Helmets start to fit at sometime over a year of age. I was actually surprised at how much jostling goes on in a bike trailer, even in one with suspension. And the extra weight of a helmet on those already large heads is quite a bit of load on those little necks.

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Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
Does your child wear a helmet in the car?
Children should be in car seats in a vehicle which are often designed such that child's head will hit the sides of the car seat (often with EPS foam) instead of impacting the hard metal of the vehicle. Vehicles now have side air bags to protect heads from hitting metal and glass. Might not be a helmet, but vehicles are being designed to protect heads in ways they were not before as heads hitting hard objects is cause of serious injury and/or death. Vehicles are also designed specifically to protect the passenger compartment as best as they can and have the least intrusion into the passenger compartment. Vehicles just aren't the same as trailers.

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Old 08-16-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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But if those huge hunks of metal drive over you, a helmet is not going to help. I figure there are people who use bikes as their primary mode of transport - even with infants. In the trailer they will be as safe as can be expected, even sans helmet. I would guess that even without a helmet, a baby is safer in a bike trailer than in a car properly secured in a carseat (statistically speaking).

I would be surprised if I were rong about this. I guess I am willing to take that risk, because the benefits of cycling out wiegh it. Good luck to everyone. Cycling with babies is fun - way more fun than driving!
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I would be surprised if I were rong about this. I guess I am willing to take that risk, because the benefits of cycling out wiegh it. Good luck to everyone. Cycling with babies is fun - way more fun than driving!
And you may be right, but I didn't read any posts here that said a car was safer than a trailer? The OP asked if taking an infant in a bike trailer was safe, there was no mention of using the trailer instead of using a vehicle. She said for entertainment and for errands. I'm guessing that means she's not going very far, which means the bike trailer could be used in stroller mode and she could go on a walk for entertainment or walk for the errands and still have the benefit of exercise and fun. And baby is still safer than in a vehicle but also safer than in the trailer without a helmet at biking speeds (and I don't think putting a helmet on a infant is wise due to fit, the extra weight, and the fact that helmets aren't designed to worn by infants).

I think the topic you brought up (dangers of vehicle travel vs bike trailer travel without helmet for an infant) could be a great discussion and give people lots to think about. I just didn't see the OP going there with her questions and situation.

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Old 08-16-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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https://www.shopatron.com/product/pa....47855.0.0.0.0

Chariot makes a 'baby supporter' for 3-18months.

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Old 08-16-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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https://www.shopatron.com/product/pa....47855.0.0.0.0

Chariot makes a 'baby supporter' for 3-18months.
This is not intended for use with the cycling kit under 12 months of age. Chariot instructions clearly say that with the cycling kit (so using the trailer attached to a bike) a child must be at least 1 year old. This supporter could be used in stroller mode before a year of age and maybe in other sport modes too, depending if they have an age minimum (jogging and skiing).

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Old 08-21-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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I wouldn't use a trailer for a five-month-old without putting the baby in an infant car seat.

I do think it's wise to read all of the anti-biking-with-infants information that there is out there before making your own informed choice.

I started biking with ds3 when he was 8 months old, using the iBert seat on the front of my bike. It worked very well for us. My sister is now using the same seat with her 7-month-old. I am considering starting to bike with our fourth baby starting when he's about 3 months old (following the lead of what's recommended in the Netherlands, where biking with babies and children is the norm). If I decide to ride with him when he's that young, he will be in an infant car seat installed in the front of my dutch cargo bike.

Lex
I also using iBert child bike seat. I and my daughter can maintain a steady conversation about what lies ahead without losing sight of the road. My daughter absolutely loves it and gets very excited when she sees me getting ready to take them for a ride.

Perhaps you would like to visit my blog next time: ibert child bike seat reviews
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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about that helmet....

Before I got the trailer, I purchased a helmet for my LO because I thought it necessary. After riding, observing the design of the trailer and reviewing the purpose of the helmet, I changed my mind. FYI, I started riding with him at 8 months.

The trailer is low to the ground, has a wide footprint with large pneumatic tires, and is extremely sturdy. It will not tip unless something wildly drastic (I ride my bike off a cliff) happens. The hitch between my bike and the trailer is designed such that even if I go down to the ground, the trailer does not budge. My child is secured (yes, it is very secure) with a five-point harness. The aluminum frame of the trailer will also protect my child if, for some reason, it rolls AND the 5-point harness fails.

A bicycle helmet is designed to protect the skull in case of a fall from a bicycle. My child is not on a bicycle and therefore cannot fall from it. Would he be inherently 'safer' by wearing a helmet while in a trailer? I suppose so but again, he isn't going to fall out of the trailer. The helmet is moot. I have considered, however, putting a helmet on him as he totters around the house. He falls constantly (just now mastering that walking thing).

I suppose some might put a helmet on their trailered child in the event they are struck be a car. If that happens, I do not believe the helmet would provide anything other than a minute amount of protection. Bike helmets are not designed as car crash helmets. If we are hit by a car, we have huge issues beyond what a mere helmet can cover.

The best reason I can think of for putting a helmet on your trailered child is to instill bicycling safety at the earliest age. Kudos to all you parents who do this (and I know all of you are modeling safe bicycling habits by wearing your own helmet). Would I prefer my child to wear a helmet, even while in the trailer? Sure. And if I could bubble-wrap him that would be even better. But the truth is, I cycle every day. I admit, it is MY need that I am fulfilling and I'm sure there are some who would argue that I am putting my child at risk in order to meet my own selfish needs. Yes. I am. But I genuinely believe that I have made my child as safe as he needs to be while in the trailer.

When he transitions out of the trailer (years down the road) and onto a tag-a-long, onto the tandem, or his own bike, rest assured that he will be wearing a helmet each and every time. We are quite strict about this actually. No helmet secured properly = no ride. No discussion.

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Old 07-04-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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so I really want to take my two kids (3.5 yrs and 10.5 months) to the foruth of July festival three miles away. I have no car and the bus is on holiday schedule so it doesn't go there and back after 5 pm. I have a bike trailer that I have used for just my dd before baby brother. He is 21 or 22 lbs and has great neck control. There is no other way to take them out today but at the same time we don't NEED to go out you know? He is bigger and has better mobility than his sister did when she was one, she wasn't 20 lbs until 1 year 3 months... I'm going to try to put the car seat in the trailer but then I don't think there would be room to buckle big sister in...

Any suggestions?

Thanks


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Old 07-04-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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Hi you might be intrested in this:

 

http://www.triobike.com/default.asp?clicked=219

 

trio bike has a attachment for use from three week and is extenstivly saftey tested.  It's a trike so the children are infrount of you, meaning no being swiped and higher from the road which I should think lessons bumps.  It takes to children.


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Old 07-04-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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I'm pretty relaxed about a lot of things that other people are really uptight about (ie: I let my toddler go barefoot in public/uneven surfaces, I let my kids play on stairs and if they are physically capable of climbing something, I typically let them go at it, etc, etc). However, I'm a complete fanatic about helmet use and following proper cycling rules. 

I also bike, a lot. We have a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old, and we use a Chariot. I started biking with both of them when ds was not quite 5 months old. He's a hefty fella, and has always been strong, but I don't think being big means he's sturdier or anything.

I did move him from the infant sling to the child supporter before we went out biking though. I like the anti-shock properties of the sling, but felt it put him up too high in case of a roll-over. If they rolled (I can't even conceive of how this would happen), he'd be smashed in to the pavement. So, I put him down next to his sister and called it good. They don't wear helmets in there. I actually don't even understand how a child in there is supposed to wear a helmet - they end up with their heads jutting so far forward they are completely ridiculous. I count on the harness plus the metal frame to act as a "helmet". DD does wear a helmet when she's in the wee ride seat in front of me, and I always wear one. 

PP, I think your event has already passed, but I hope you went and I hope it was lovely! I would just secure them well, take my time, and follow the rules of the road, as long as you don't feel they're being bounced around too much in there. 


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Old 07-15-2011, 10:24 PM
 
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Please PLEASE have your children wear their helmets while in the trailer!  My husband flipped our Chariot Corsaire over with our 3-year-old twins inside, completely upside down.  They were both strapped in and wearing their helmets, and were scared but not hurt at all.  In re-creating the accident we realized that there is really not that much protection on the sides when it flips and it could have resulted in a nasty head bonk on the pavement.  They're not as difficult to flip as you might think.

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