Do your kids wear bike helmets? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Do your kids wear bike helmets when biking?
Yes, all the time. 107 74.31%
Yes, but not every single time. 18 12.50%
Sometimes. 2 1.39%
Rarely. 8 5.56%
Never 9 6.25%
Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

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Family Safety > Do your kids wear bike helmets?
lindberg99's Avatar lindberg99 11:35 PM 08-10-2007
I see kids biking all over our neighborhood and I don't see any of them wearing bike helmets. Like today, there were 9 or 10 kids besides mine out riding their bikes, ranging from age 3 to 10 and only mine had helmets on. So I'm just curious, is this typical? Do kids around you wear helmets?

4Marmalade's Avatar 4Marmalade 11:42 PM 08-10-2007
I voted, yes - all the time. They are 4.5 years and 2 years so it's training wheels and a tricycle but it's important to us. A few years ago I had a bad mountain-biking accident which included some broken bones, stitches, and a broken tooth. But no head injuries because I was wearing a helmet. It's just second nature to us and they see their parents wearing them so they don't question it. Ds has asked about other kids though and has told a few people that it's not safe
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 11:42 PM 08-10-2007
Well, in our state, it's law that they wear helmets until they are 14.

Every kid in our neighborhood wears them for riding bikes or scooters. It's just the norm. I got my kids started with wearing when they were riding trikes - not because I think trikes are that dangerous (they ride trikes at daycare without them), but because I need them to associate bikes/trikes with helmets. OK and we live on a hill that could lead to some pretty high speeds. We haven't actually moved on to bikes yet, but will next summer for ds, and he'll just accept it as the norm.
ctdoula's Avatar ctdoula 11:50 PM 08-10-2007
Yes, even in the grass in the backyard, even on a trike. I feel helmets are as important as car seats.

And what really drives me nuts..... seeing parents with toddlers on a kid seat on their bike and the kid is wearing a helmet, but the parent isn't. OR the parents are riding next to the kids w/no helmet. What is the kid supposed to do when you're brain damaged, in a coma or dead? I just don't get it.
HarperRose's Avatar HarperRose 02:12 AM 08-11-2007
I put rarely. I could say, "We never used them and we're fine!" but I know that's a bs excuse. My cousin used to bike and THANK GOD he had a helmet on when some dingbat woman DROVE INTO HIM.

Mine actually rarely ride their bikes, hence the rare use of their helmets. When we ride on the road helmets are mandatory. When we go from the door to the mailbox, I'm not worried. And they don't ride without me walking with them.
Peony's Avatar Peony 02:25 AM 08-11-2007
I will admit that until recently helmet use wasn't a 100% of the time thing. Not that I didn't want DD1 wearing one, but that it would get stuck somewhere and after searching for it for a while I would give up and we'd go on a walk without one. This summer in my town, a teen died while skateboarding to work. the witnesses said she was just riding down the street, she lost her balance, fell and hit her head, her parents pulled her off life support a couple days later. Now if DD1 has to wear her helmet or she is not allowed to ride her bike. Since the rule has been in place, she makes sure that her helmet is placed by her bike.
4evermom's Avatar 4evermom 08:33 AM 08-11-2007
It's the law here for kids 12 and under but it is the rare neighborhood kid who wears one. Sometimes, ds' helmet doesn't get on during a brief driveway interlude but if we are going someplace, around the block, to the store, he wears it. I did not make him wear one for his trike (low to the ground, cautious rider, didn't ride with other kids, not the law).
kewb's Avatar kewb 09:40 AM 08-11-2007
It is the law here. They wear their helmets each and every time.
aussiemum's Avatar aussiemum 09:52 AM 08-11-2007
I voted yes, all the time. But of course I have some exceptions.

We all wear helmets on bikes, all the time, outside our garden (yard). It's the law for everybody here & I won't risk the $120 per person fine. Besides, it's just sensible with the way some people drive cars.

The kids also have to wear helmets when they ride scooters outside the yard, but not inside the yard on the little patch of cement we have under the pergola. THey don't have to wear helmets inside the yard when they ride bikes, except when they are using the bike jump. I do insist that they put a helmet on then, because there is the possibility that they could fly off the bike & into the rock borders of the garden beds or a fence post.

eta: my kids also do a lot of things that others might consider crazy & unsafe- like jumping off waterfalls into creeks & swimming in huge deep rivers, & boogie boarding in the ocean on a rough day, & rock climbing (bouldering) 3 meters above the ground without ropes, & hiking through the bush in snake country, & being caught out in a thunderstorm on a mountain peak (that scared me too, tbh, but I had to go with the moment & be brave, you know? No point in the kids being freaked out too...)
Kerrie's Avatar Kerrie 10:04 AM 08-11-2007
My kids ALWAYS wear them. About a month ago the kids and I went for a bike ride and DS (4) got going too fast, lost control and went over his handlebars. We ended up in the ER with just a knocked out tooth no other lasting injurys. His helmet saved his head. I try not to think about what would have happened if he hadn't been wearing it. *I* on the other hand don't have one and need to get one asap because we are that family with all the kids wearing a helmet - including my 23 mo in the bike trailer - with the parents not wearing them.
hottmama's Avatar hottmama 10:10 AM 08-11-2007
I put yes, but not all the time.
My son is 4.5 and rides a bike without training wheels. He rides it everywhere around here all the time, and he also has a scooter and a skateboard. He is supposed to wear his helmet on his bike but he doesn't always remember, and I don't really enforce it that much. There are no cars in our little neighborhood so there's only the chance of him falling. He doesn't have to wear his helmet on his scooter. He does have to on his skateboard because he's really bad at it. But he hardly ever uses it (probably because he's really bad at it).
I'd say all of the kids around here ride helmets some or all of the time when they ride bikes. I've never seen one wear one on a tricycle (and definitely will not make my toddler wear one on his trike)! Also, I don't wear a helmet myself unless I'm riding in the street.
mamabohl's Avatar mamabohl 10:14 AM 08-11-2007
anyone have any tips on getting your child to wear one? My son says it's too tight when it's on correctly so he will either wear it all loose and unsafe or not at all. He only has a scooter and I don't really see any reason for a helmet with a scooter...but I really want him to get used to a helmet when he starts riding a bike.
majikfaerie's Avatar majikfaerie 10:24 AM 08-11-2007
where we live (Australia) it is the law for everyone to wear helmets (adults and children) at all times (I guess its okay in your own backyard).
Its pretty rare to see anyone, child or adult without a helmet. and I agree, so I just flat out got DD to wear her helmet at all times, just so its a kind of unquestioned habit, like seat belts. coz I know my DD, and if there was any chance of it being even the slightest bit optional, then she'd push it too much, and I'm not up for the headache of trying to convince her to wear it when she is on the street.
aussiemum's Avatar aussiemum 10:24 AM 08-11-2007
Ah yes, skateboards...

DS had to wear a helmet at first when he started riding (again on the same little patch of cement in our yard), but now that he has a lot of control I don't require it at home. If he starts skating half pipes & parks & such, I will no doubt feel differently.

My DD always wears a helmet when she has her horse riding lessons, but I think that is a liability thing. In all honesty, the worst riding accidents I have seen could not have been prevented with helmets.

I hope that my kids realise that I ask that they take safety precautions because they are inexperienced at an activity, not as a matter of course. I dunno, maybe that is mad, but I don't want to limit their experiences in the name of my mental comfort zone.... it is a tricky thing, I think. Many will disagree with me, I am sure....

When I rock climb, I don't wear a helmet, but I should given the loose rock around here......
LotusBirthMama's Avatar LotusBirthMama 11:17 AM 08-11-2007
Its my unbendable rule. I have worked with brain injured individuals, some of them kids who had bike accidents, and am not taking a chance.
kblackstone444's Avatar kblackstone444 02:12 PM 08-11-2007
My children both wear bike helmets EVERY TIME they ride their bikes, though at twelve, my son has started to balk at it lately. None of the other children in our town wear bike helmets after about age 5 even though it's the law here, too.
Houdini's Avatar Houdini 03:41 PM 08-11-2007
Originally Posted by mamabohl View Post
anyone have any tips on getting your child to wear one? My son says it's too tight when it's on correctly so he will either wear it all loose and unsafe or not at all. He only has a scooter and I don't really see any reason for a helmet with a scooter...but I really want him to get used to a helmet when he starts riding a bike.
My crew wear helmets every time they ride their bikes/scooters. They can have an accident and hit their head just the same on a scooter as a bike.

As far as tips.....they don't ride without a helmet. Period. It is no different than the seatbelt in the car for us. If they choose to 'forget,' they loose their bike for one week. It is hung on a hook in the shed and they are not allowed to ride at all.

My crew have always had to wear a helmet though from the beginning of anything wheeled. They don't even question it much. The oldest has a few times and 'forgot' a few times last summer, but we have had zero issues this year.
artgoddess's Avatar artgoddess 03:46 PM 08-11-2007
Originally Posted by mamabohl View Post
anyone have any tips on getting your child to wear one? My son says it's too tight when it's on correctly so he will either wear it all loose and unsafe or not at all. He only has a scooter and I don't really see any reason for a helmet with a scooter...but I really want him to get used to a helmet when he starts riding a bike.
We made it a non-negotiable like holding hands when crossing the street with our little one. he has had his trike for nearly 2 years and he won't even get on it without the helmet it is so routine for him.

If your son won't wear it properly then he doesn't get to ride the scooter.
mamabebe's Avatar mamabebe 04:10 PM 08-11-2007
I voted for all the time because although we don't have kids old enough to ride bikes yet, when we do they'll wear a helmet all the time for bikes. For skateboarding, it'll be pads and helmets. Better to look like a dork than have brain damage or break a joint. Broken joints are so painful for a long time.

I was hit by a car as a teenager when I was riding my bike home. My bike went 12 feet and I went another 10. It knocked me out for a few minutes and if not for the helmet, I would've been seriously injured.

If the helmet doesn't feel comfortable, than even though it looks right, it might be sized wrong. It should move a tiny bit when you adjust it with your hands, but not move when you shake your head.
TiredX2's Avatar TiredX2 04:12 PM 08-11-2007
My kids always wear helmets when they are biking (and if friends come over to our house they must also wear a helmet).

They also wear them on scooters and skates.

There is very little problem w/enforcing the rule so far because it is just THE RULE and they know there is no getting around it. They are, in fact, surprised and concerned when they see people *not* wearing helmets.
elmh23's Avatar elmh23 05:53 PM 08-11-2007
Yes, all the time even though she's still riding a trike that daddy has to push. The reason: in my town there is a law that requires children on any bike (even a trike!) to wear a helmut or you could be given a fine. Since the helmut is cheaper than the fine, we went out and bought one. I figure at the very least, it'll get her used to it. (My town is kind of going crazy with the behavior changing rules!)
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 06:20 PM 08-11-2007
Originally Posted by mamabohl View Post
anyone have any tips on getting your child to wear one? My son says it's too tight when it's on correctly so he will either wear it all loose and unsafe or not at all. He only has a scooter and I don't really see any reason for a helmet with a scooter...but I really want him to get used to a helmet when he starts riding a bike.
No helmet = no riding. Period. Every time.

Get one that fits fairly tightly on the head, and then put it on so that there's a finger's width under his chin. The ones that have a V strap (so the straps to the front of the ear and behind the ear, and then come together) generally fit better and are more stable than the other ones.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 06:22 PM 08-11-2007
All of the time or they may not ride their bikes.
Mary-Beth's Avatar Mary-Beth 06:25 PM 08-11-2007
Yes all the time.
My dh is a triathlete and spends a great deal of time on his bike.
He has crashed and actually cracked his helmet. If he didn't have it on it would have been fatal.
The fall happened at a low speed, near home. Not going 25-30mph on a ride somewhere.
The kids wear it because we insist on this and they see us follow this rule as well.
forthebest's Avatar forthebest 06:25 PM 08-11-2007
Totally yes! My ds had to go to ER for stitches on his chin when he had a very nasty fall off his bike, I wished I had got him the full-face helmet like I was going to but at least he had on a regular helmet, which saved his head. The bike he had was a suspension bike and it just springed him off, I felt really bad. A helmet is an absolute must for on the road.
angie3096's Avatar angie3096 06:29 PM 08-11-2007
I am very anal about the helmet thing. Even in the yard, even on a trike. Don't want to wear it? That's just fine sweetie. You don't have to. But you can't get on the bike.
I equate riding the bike without the helmet to riding in the car without the carseat. It's not an option. Ever. It has nothing to do with the law or with getting a fine. It's that I've heard too many bike crash horror stories from people that I personally know. She also has to wear her helmet when she's on the horse, even if the horse is tied up and not moving. Don't like the helmet? Fine. Stay away from the horse.
peilover010202's Avatar peilover010202 06:39 PM 08-11-2007
dh is a triathlete, so it's been very important for us to lead by example and start early. dh and I only ride with our helmets and ds1 started wearing his helmet at 12mos (when I read that their neck muscles are strong enough to support a helmet for short periods.) ds1 knows no helmet = no riding. There is no option. ds2 is now 12mos old, so we've been slowly getting him acclimated (which has been more difficult! )

And, only recently have any of the neighbor kids starting wearing them (told their mom they wanted a "cool" helmet like ds1's!) But, there are many more that don't.
PeacefulSeams's Avatar PeacefulSeams 07:10 PM 08-11-2007
MY DS has to wear a bike helmet at all times. I live in Washington and they can actually ticket you if your child is not wearing a helmet. It's a state law.

My DH was pulled over yesterday because my niece had no helmet on (it was forgotten at home) and was given a warning about the helmet law.

Plus, my DS is a clumsy and he usually falls off his bike at least once while riding it.
AbbieB's Avatar AbbieB 08:05 PM 08-11-2007
Up till now, no helmet. DD has a trike. She has one. We don't make her wear it. She tried it a few times and had a hard time with it, the thing really effected her balance and vision.

I do not know how I will feel about it as she grows and gets going faster on a bigger bike.

My sister had a major head injury from an auto accident in her 20's. I remember talking to the doctor with my Mom and us getting into the subject of helmets. You know what he said? The only thing helmets do is keep your head/face looking good. It does absolutely nothing to prevent damage to your brain. I was really struck by that statement.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with making it a rule. I do think that it is worth it to save a person from stitches and things like a crack on the head from a rock during a fall.
MilkbarMom's Avatar MilkbarMom 08:31 PM 08-11-2007
My girls wear them for every activity that involves wheels (bike, scooter, etc) and on horses.

For those moms that said the helmets did not fit good, I have to stress, a GOOD helmet makes all the difference. Get one that adjusts to fit the head, it usually had a little dial in the back or it squeezes tighter. The helmet shoudl fit snugly without the straps even on yet, that way it does not shift while they are riding. It shoudl also come down on the forehead, not be worn high up like a baseball cap. And always make sure the strap is on to keep the helmet on.
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