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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-23-2014 09:13 PM
rinap There are risks in everything.

That said, pedestrian statistics are for walkers, not cyclists. And not all injuries to cyclists are deaths due to car crashes. And the risks have to include both risks of injury and prevalence (if I spend 700 hours a year driving and 5 hours a year biking, then one car accident doesn't make driving less safe than biking). And there are no statistics there (and none that I've seen) that show any safety numbers on babies being worn (for death or injury).

"Bottom line! Wearing a baby while riding a bike is less dangerous than strapping a kid to a car seat for a car ride. Shocker!"

Nothing you have said shows that this is true.
08-23-2014 08:49 PM
marsupial-mom The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute says:
"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."
http://www.helmets.org/little1s.htm
08-19-2014 03:02 PM
marsygirl You take a risk of death by simply existing. I live a few miles from the airport, we have had small planes crash into houses quite a few times just in my area of town. So, you can't even say you are safe at home. That is besides the fact that there are thousands of ways to die at home.

I'm not saying you might as well take up sky diving (you could, though), however, I completely agree with Fillyjonk. Best you can do is make a calculated decision on what your best option is based on the given circumstances.

Just to shine a little bit of light in the general vicinity of U.S. statistics... 2012 car crash deaths were about 33,500 and pedestrian/car deaths were about 4,700. SO simply by looking at this, I can tell you that anyone choosing to ride a bike vs drive a car has a far lower chance of getting killed on the road. Now, if I also tell you that 34% of the pedestrians killed in that number were intoxicated, you just might sell your car and google bike routes everywhere. Unless you like to take a few shots before your morning bike ride to the grocery store with your child... Then you have bigger problems than bike vs car. Hahaha ...that was a bit dark...

Bottom line! Wearing a baby while riding a bike is less dangerous than strapping a kid to a car seat for a car ride. Shocker!

All else is futile... If you fall off the bike, newsflash, wherever your kid is, he/she is coming with you! Unless you have a trike... Even then, I can't imagine any force that would be strong enough to knock you off your trike but leave it standing.

12-25-2013 01:18 PM
Triniity

Where we used to live my husband used to take DD1 on the bike to kindergarten. She had a seat on the bike, that went from over her head until under her feet and covered her on both sides, so a bit like a shell. She was wearing a helmet as well. So in most accidents I believe that she would be much more protected from the impact onto the street or the other car than without the seat. 

 

The trailers here are quite secure as well - they have to have these wimply thingies - by law. And they are secured so that if the trailer tumbles over the baby is still safe inside it. 

 

I had three bike accidents myself. It was never my fault. Once I was hit by a police car - they did not check the biker trail. I was never hurt seriously - luckily, but especially after this rolling over the police car  I would never ever wear a baby on my body - same with inline skating or horse riding. 

 

Quote:
 I live in Germany where I always see people wearing their baby while bike riding

I live in Germany, too, and I have never seen anybody wearing a child while on the bike - ever headscratch.gif

10-13-2013 09:01 AM
mightymama1976

I will try to give a more general answer, to show things in perspective (or at least I think it would).

 

When people ride a bike alongside a road and/or (often both) under power lines, I think it is damaging for kids no matter where they are placed. Not only they inhale fumes (often for over an hour) from the driving near by cars (especially when they are placed in a bike attachments which makes them the same level as the outpouring fumes), but also they are in the area of strong EMF (electromagnetic field, which is a very real danger. you can actually measure EMF with expensive devises and it is off the chart under/near power lines). Not to mention that statistically bikers do get killed by cars rather often. So riding your bike with a child does automatically put him/her in additional danger, no matter where they sit.

 

Now about a child in a carrier. I personally feel that as long as you drive on a paved trail far away from a road, and have no balance problems with your child being on your back, it does not make it more dangerous. Simple laws of physics show that it would be nearly impossible for you to fall backwards unless you try to do that wild thing I see teenagers doing (when they pull the front part of the bike up riding on just back wheal). Falling side-ways or forward (if you break very sharply) if far more likely.

10-13-2013 07:41 AM
cynthiamoon Oh, I never said it was solving the pollution problem, only improving upon it since particulate matter is such a large component o exhaust.

And yeah, I think location is really what determines what makes sense to do as a cyclist. In Denver, the city is on a grid which means that if any one road seems too crowded or whatever for a bike, there's 10+ others heading the same direction. There's a handful of spots where I jump on the sidewalk for practical reasons, but mostly it is not limiting to be considered traffic. There is one off- street path that bisects the city and is very practical, and most roads are calm enough that I am happy to ride alongside cars.
10-13-2013 12:39 AM
Fillyjonk

Hmm we might have to agree to disagree on the air filter. I think its optimistic to believe a car filter is making much difference, even if you have the air con on routinely which we don't. Also, while particulate matter is a problem, and that could to some extent be filtered out with a good filter, its not the only problem with the air you're breathing on a motorway/ freeway (?) (I mean the fast intercity roads). You have high concentrations of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide, for example. 

 

Its a shame for cycling on the sidewalks to be blanket illegal, because that must restrict your options. Round here, you wouldn't routinely do it, but you'd be ok to cycle short distances on wide sidewalks. Its also entirely legal and done to push a bike on any sidewalk, but it would not really be done to push a bike with a trailer in the same way. Also, having pushed a bike with a trailer attached, I think that would be quite hard to do for any distance anyway. But this is a European capital city and our city centre is entirely car free and the safe cycle routes are through parkland. Everyone just uses common sense (and a bell) really.

 

Anyway. You will find your own way. Enjoy your cycling journey! When mine were a little older than yours, they really enjoyed the WeeRide, as I think another poster has mentioned.

10-12-2013 08:13 PM
cynthiamoon Oh, and a car's cabin air filter works the same as any other air filter-- it traps particulate matter in the air before pushing it into the cabin of your car. This may not be standard, but I'd be surprised. Obviously, you need to have the windows closed and fan on at least for this to filter your breathing air.
10-12-2013 07:31 PM
cynthiamoon
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitteh View Post

I love those pictures of bike riders in amsterdam.

We are a bike riding family and commute nearly everywhere by bike, as we don't
have a car. My 3.5 yr old has ridden in the weeRide since she was about 8 months old (she started walking at 8.5months, so no issues with head control.) We have been taking busses more now since my younger dd was born 3 months ago. I really dislike taking the bus, so as soon as our recent addition has head control we will be getting a WeeRide seat for her too.

We live in Santa Monica and ride on the street, in the bike lane. It's illegal to ride on the sidewalks. It's also illegal to ride while babywearing, or else I might have considered it for this interim period before baby can sit in her own seat. We've considered the trailers, but I actually feel less safe putting my kids in one of those than having them up with me.

Riding on the sidewalk is illegal here too, and for good reason.

I personally can't wait till DD is ready for riding along with me. I miss my bike!!

I admit I need to research seats and trailers more though. I don't even know how to know if she's ready for one. I figured it's a long way away still. She's just 2mo.
10-12-2013 12:48 PM
Fillyjonk
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthiamoon View Post
However, cars do filter the air they intake, and respiratory rate matters.

How do they filter air? My car doesn't, afaik, I mean it might if I have the air con on, I'm not sure, but its pretty rare for it to be hot enough to warrant that. 

 

Also, like I say. Yes, the cyclist will be breathing more heavily and so breathe more polluted air. But the passenger will not be. A kid on the bike will be breathing as heavily as a kid in a car. 

 

If we are looking at straightforward breathing polluted air. When I had my kids on the bike I could get many miles travelling off road.  Ie much, much lower pollution than even the pavement. If they were in a car, or had I used a trailer, I'd have been using roads I share with traffic. It depends on your options, but putting a kid on a bike potentially gives you the option to use different, low or zero car roads, than using a trailer.

10-12-2013 12:01 PM
kitteh I love those pictures of bike riders in amsterdam.

We are a bike riding family and commute nearly everywhere by bike, as we don't
have a car. My 3.5 yr old has ridden in the weeRide since she was about 8 months old (she started walking at 8.5months, so no issues with head control.) We have been taking busses more now since my younger dd was born 3 months ago. I really dislike taking the bus, so as soon as our recent addition has head control we will be getting a WeeRide seat for her too.

We live in Santa Monica and ride on the street, in the bike lane. It's illegal to ride on the sidewalks. It's also illegal to ride while babywearing, or else I might have considered it for this interim period before baby can sit in her own seat. We've considered the trailers, but I actually feel less safe putting my kids in one of those than having them up with me.
10-12-2013 09:50 AM
cynthiamoon Good point about the weight of fumes -- I guess what I meant is more than hopping on a bike, we accept pollution into our lungs simply by living in a city. However, cars do filter the air they intake, and respiratory rate matters.
10-12-2013 06:27 AM
Fillyjonk

I don't agree that fume level is illusory. Fume particles are heavier than air and so will hang around nearer the ground. The concentration of them will be higher at trailer height, simply because its lower. Physical chemistry. I think what is illusory is a belief that we somehow don't inhale pollution if we are inside the car. We do. (the cyclist might inhale more because they are breathing more heavily, but a passenger would not). 

 

The issue for trailers with us is to do with the routes we take. In order to go via safe routes we need to be able to push the bike at times in pedestrian areas, and also cycle narrow footpaths/towpaths shared with pedestrians. Its possible and acceptable to do that on a bike but not towing a trailer. So for us, a trailer would effectively force us onto the road.

 

As a motorist, I actually dispute that the trailers are that visible. It depends on your driving position. I have driven a lot of different cars, but right now am driving a Scenic which has a relatively high driving position compared to the smaller cars I've driven in the past. Its not I don't see trailers, but I don't notice them as fast, because they are lower down. I don't look for them, and I couldn't be absolutely sure to notice them, much as I'd love to say I did.  And I am a cyclist and very, very considerate of my fellow cyclists when I am in a car. But even I don't always notice trailers right away, whereas I do always see the bike-and the kid on the back. (there is that too actually. I've always found motorists to be way more considerate of me with a child seat on the back than without-even though if I'm cycling with a child seat on a main road the seat would - visibly- not actually have a kid in it!).

 

I also think that if you were hit by a car with enough force to knock you off the bike, the odds are the trailer would be hit too. 

 

I don't think trailers are inherently unsafe and if you have the option of a car free route that you can take a trailer on, I think that's a fine option. I've certainly used them on holidays, and they are fine. Mine have always really enjoyed the bike seat and preferred it to the trailer but that's quite a minor consideration when safety is involved. 

 

I do think trailers are less safe than people often assume and I think I would never, personally, cycle a road shared with traffic with a child on a bike anyway, except possibly for very short, quiet distances (we had to do this occasionally, for example, when on holiday in france-but we literally never saw a car). I go well out of my way on some trips to go through parkland, use alleys and so on. I'm also very strict with my kids about dismounting when cycling on pavements where it could inconvenience pedestrians.

10-12-2013 04:39 AM
cynthiamoon Fascinating thread. I used to cycle for transport exclusively, but we got a second car a few months into my pregnancy. I felt like I was betraying my commitment to bike commuting as a budget/lifestyle/environmental choice, but I feel good about the decision overall. I think once DD is ready for a trailer that's what we'll do.

However, I saw some people saying they wouldn't ride in a bike lane with one-- any reasons? Also, I think they are very visible! The ones I've seen here are NEON yellow or orange and have tall red flags.

Also " fume level" is mostly as illusion. Anytime you are near traffic, you are inhaling pollution. How's that for a risk we accept every time we hop on a bike ?
10-10-2013 06:35 AM
Fillyjonk

It sounds as though it would not be a good idea for someone to cycle with a baby where you are, and that as an experienced cyclist you have made that assessment. That's totally valid. 

 

That doesn't make cycling with a baby on your back risky and it certainly doesn't make cycling with the kid in a sling any riskier than in a trailer or a bike seat. It reinforces the idea that as a cycling parent you need to make a judgement call about whether your route is safe to take your child onto. 

 

FWIW I would not cycle with a baby on the bike at all on any road I shared with cars. I'm lucky to have the option near me to get right through the city without needing to do that. We have cycle paths and parks and its possible to dismount and push for the short distances where there is car-shared road. 

 

Your roads do sound risky and I don't think I'd be happy as an experienced adult cycling them, regardless of whether I had a child on the bike. Cycling on car free roads, as I do, the risk of an accident if you are cycling a well maintained bike sensibly and slowly (and you have to stay quite slow as you are sharing paths with pedestrians) is really pretty tiny. 

 

The OP needs to look at the actual route she will cycle, but its certainly not a given that cycling with a baby is risky, IMO.

10-10-2013 05:28 AM
SugarAndSun

I don't know anyone who has been hit during a race. However, I know many, many people who have been hit when cycling. I think it depends on the area. We have a lot of winding back roads. They're worse than the main roads. We also have very few shoulders and people tend to pass cars waiting to turn by driving on the shoulder in my area. We each have to choose for ourselves. Clearly, there is no restriction to biking with a babe, but it is risky. 

10-10-2013 02:27 AM
Fillyjonk

sure but a race situation is very different to cycling at low speed, on a well balanced bike, on good backroads.

 

I don't think the OP is planning to race with her baby on her back.

10-08-2013 06:49 PM
SugarAndSun

I am an avid runner and used to bike a lot to do triathlons. In my area, all options are bad. Every year we have experienced cyclists killed. It's one of the main reasons I ditched tris for distance running. At least I can see the cars coming! We can wish the world were different, but I'm not willing to risk my babies life in a carrier or a trailer!

09-17-2013 04:08 PM
stu sto beautiful...

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/04/motherhood-mondays-biking-in-amsterdam.html
09-17-2013 07:32 AM
Fillyjonk

Adults cycle differently when they have a kid on board-in whatever form, whether in a backpack or a child seat.

 

I think a child seat feels  safer than a backpack and a trailer feels safer than a child seat. But assuming that your adult is cycling much slower than usual, is not taking short cuts. Using a bike seat or backpack has a lot of advantages then over a trailer. First off, at least in British parks, using a trailer would stop you from taking a lot of safer routes-you couldn't really cycle through a park with a huge trailer bouncing behind, or cut through a narrow alley. Second, you can't just hop onto the pavement and push in more dangerous areas-the pavements wouldn't really accommodate a trailer. A trailer would tend to commit you to the road whereas having the child on the bike makes you more flexible. I actually feel trailers are quite unsafe on the road and I don't like that they are at fume level. And you can't talk to the kids, which to me is quite an important part of cycling.

 

Regarding the kid being on the bike. The risk here is that the bike will fall over, either due to cyclist error or the kid wiggling. Cyclist error: this is partly experience. Cycling slowly and staying alert, I've literally never fallen off my bike or hit anything, any more than if I were walking. The few times I've come off my bike-in my entire cycling life which spans 30+ years-have been my own fault, going too fast, poor tyres. The reality is that an experienced cyclist compensates all the time for adjustments to weight. Uneven ground, things shifting around in the paniers or backpack if you're carrying one...Cycling, far more than driving, is about adjusting to biofeedback, and part of being an experienced cyclist is the ability to do that effectively and quickly. You just don't just suddenly fall off. And a good cyclist knows their bike and checks it regularly. If they take risks-cycling with slick tyres in heavy rain, with poor brakes-they know they are doing it and they are not likely to do it with a child on board. Brake failure is quite rare actually, brakes tend to slowly fail, and as soon as you realised it was happening, with a kid on the bike and going slowly, you'd put your feet down and stabilise. You would just not be riding a bike with a saddle too high to do that. And every single cyclist with any experience knows that when the bike has just been serviced the brakes will be sharper. These are just things any decent cyclist knows.

 

Re kids wiggling. Mine never really did on the bike. If they leaned over one way, it was never too much for me to compensate for, however I could always ask them not to. Teaching them not to suddenly lean out is part of cycling with kids but at the same time, I don't think most kids really enjoy it, the g-force from is is probably quite unpleasant. Logically, they can lean out less from a sling than a bike seat. 

 

Falling off and landing on the kid. That's as likely wherever the kid is on the bike, surely, except that if they are on you, you have some ability to twist and land on your front. Generally I think people do try to land on all fours if possible. I do think that in any situation where the cyclist was thrown through the air, the child would have been equally in danger in a trailer. Perhaps even in a car, since it would need a serious judgement error on the part of the motorist. We're talking a serious impact and if someone were cycling slowly and safely and keeping off roads where possible I think its a lot less likely than the risks taken by putting your kids in a car. 

 

Regarding having a child on your back vs on the child seat. I think that's personal preference. Thinking about the physics of it. Yes your centre of balance is higher if the child is on your back but they are also closer to you. Putting them on the back of the bike means the effect of them wiggling will be greater (you know how a child seems heavier the further they move from the pivot of a seesaw?). I think whatever feels more stable on your particular bike is probably best. I'd personally want to use a sling that kept them very secure, something like an ergo/beco rather than a didymos, but that's me. Of course, they have to wear a helmet. I don't think it would be impossible for a child to be wearing a helmet on the back of the bike, though it might have to be one without a visor. 

 

I don't think there IS a safe way to carry kids on bikes really. But I don't think cars are all that safe either. You're in more dangerous situations but also, healthwise, cycling is safer long term. I don't think there is one simple answer but I don't think using a sling is inherently unsafe, certainly not for an experienced cyclist. It depends on so many factors. To get on a bike having not cycled in a long time, and start cycling with your child in a bike seat is probably unwise, in just the way that to start driving again after a long break with four kids shouting in the back is probably unwise. For someone with a lifetime of regular cycling behind them to take their child on a bike with them is something altogether different. There IS a difference between experienced and inexperienced cyclists here, IMO.

09-17-2013 05:47 AM
stu sto i checked the laws of new york state, and you cant wear a child on a bike under under the age of 1. over the age of one is ok, provided they have a helmet. that is what the law says, not saying it is the safest option necessarily.
07-31-2013 08:53 PM
kadensmama If it feels rights to you then DO it!
08-22-2007 01:52 PM
Leilalu
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnearthmomma View Post
I have a good friend who is a professional cyclist. When parents come into the bike shop to get a seat fitted onto their cycles, the guys won't even do it. They do not feel that even a bike seat is safe and they always suggest trailers. I would never ever wear a babe while cycling, they only go into the trailer and not onto any part of the bicycle itself. The pros I know all are wary because no natter where the extra weight is (that is, directly ON the cycle,) it has serious potential to throw off your balance.

This is interesting, like I said before it is worthy of some research.

I personally will stick with a jogging stroller. There are many ways to exercise.
08-22-2007 01:49 PM
Leilalu
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannughes View Post
i'm a little confused - do you mean that having him strapped to the bike itself would prevent his wiggling from throwing off the rider's balance or that in the event of a crash, he would be safer strapped to the bike?

I guess I am.

But I guess I need to research them some more.

My dh was in an older bike trailer when he was young and my FIL hit a bump and it actually detached and flipped over. This was a long time ago. But I still have issues with them.

For one, what if a car saw you, but did not see the trailer and started to make a turn? it happens. I have had people nearly run their car into my jogging stroller!Several times!

Second point: What if it did detach, or you hit a bump and the kids got knocked around?

Anything CAN be dangerous. It just depends on the situation. Technically- not everyone who baby-wears with an infant with fall to a horrible death. It could be a lot of fun , actually. But it could happen, which is why safety laws are enforced. I would personally feel safer not riding a bike with an infant, but if I did, I would probably get a seat on the back of my bike. That way, I can control my bike and how it moves, and it is all one peice.
08-21-2007 10:57 PM
CallMeKelly IMO...

If concern over being hit by a car is being considered a valid reason to say no to wearing the baby while biking, then it should be considered a valid reason not to have the baby in a trailer while biking as well. Trailers are not as visible, being under the sight line and could be hit , crushed just as easily as the bike. I think all these car crash arguments should be just tossed out as silly... just my opinion and I respect that those making the arguments have their own valid reasons... I just don't care to see things that way.

An adult is very unlikely to flip over his/her handlebars. I can't even imagine using my front brakes and haven't since I was a child. No need for it... so I'd throw that argument out too.

It will mess up your balance: Not really. I don't believe that a wiggly child would really cause an accident. I have a wee ride, and I let DS wiggle to his hearts content. He causes just as much off-balancing as my babe does in his carrier.

The only argument that even approaches valid to me is that you could land on him/her in a fall. Here I think it is actually safer to have the child on your back than in a seat like the Wee Ride I use. For one thing, you can twist your body to bear the impact of a worn child but there is no way for you to cushion the fall of a child in a seat. For another, if you were to begin to fall but caught yourself, you can really jerk the head/neck of a child in the carseat ... but one on your back or front would not get jerked around as much.


I say do what you feel is safe... and don't let others make you "conform". It's a darn good thing for my kids health that I just don't conform and get them fully vaxed and chock full of cough syrup when they are sick!!!
08-21-2007 04:24 AM
jenrose I have a lot of friends who ride bikes. One, who rode as her main transportation, had a couple of accidents involving cars opening doors in front of her or turning abruptly in front of her. This happened to another friend, as well. Once, I fell simply by misjudging a turn slightly and hitting a slick spot. Several of my friends have ended up across car hoods, flipped, etc. They're not amateurs, but people who ride all the time in a city designed for bicycles (we have bike lanes everywhere).

Strange as it may seem, riding on the sidewalk is VERY dangerous. It is extremely hard for cars to see you--I almost hit a boy who was riding on the sidewalk in front of my house--he came flying by, though the neighbor's bushes completely block my view, and he smacked my hood with his hand as he went by... if he'd been riding correctly, he would have been in the bike lane on the other side of the street, and very visible to cars pulling out of driveways.

A few years back, I stopped to help a young woman whose leg was broken when a car hit her. She was riding on the sidewalk, and the car was pulling out of a driveway.

But the upshot of all of this is that the possibility of flipping over a car hood MUST be considered. I might toy with the idea of babywearing while bike riding on a dedicated, paved bike path with high visibility over a long range. Which covers about 3% of the hundreds of miles of bike paths in my town.
08-19-2007 05:42 PM
mnearthmomma
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
I really don't feel bike trailers are all that safe. Maybe they are safer then they used to be......
I would have to agree with the other mom as well here. Your balance could be thrown off. There are too many variables to not have him strapped onto the bike itself.


I have a good friend who is a professional cyclist. When parents come into the bike shop to get a seat fitted onto their cycles, the guys won't even do it. They do not feel that even a bike seat is safe and they always suggest trailers. I would never ever wear a babe while cycling, they only go into the trailer and not onto any part of the bicycle itself. The pros I know all are wary because no natter where the extra weight is (that is, directly ON the cycle,) it has serious potential to throw off your balance.
08-19-2007 11:31 AM
LilWin We have lots of debates about riding a bike with a baby in a carrier here (The Netherlands, I'm in Amsterdam). Officially it's not against the law, but nevertheless I've heard of people being stopped by the police who warned them about the risks. I've read that there have been at least 2 deadly accident with babies in carriers (it's mostly Bjorns here, so that's a bit different). There are lots of people who do it, there are just as many who feel it's very dangerous and don't. It's definitely not common and still debated very much! Personally, after taken over a year of driving lessons here in the city, I would never do it myself. I've seen too many close calls, and you might feel you're careful but you can never control other people.
08-19-2007 08:56 AM
threadbey just found the following: http://www.ibike.org/education/infant.htm

they're against backpacks, but decide for yourself if you agree.

Quote:
Taking an infant on a bike in a backpack is potentially very dangerous -- and illegal in some jurisdictions. Some of the issues are: The center of gravity is higher; if you wear helmets -- as you should -- your helmets may bang together; the child is quite vulnerable in a fall because the distance is higher and there is a greater chance of the infant ending up underneath the adult in a tumble; and the backpack provides less protection than a child seat or trailer.
they do say

Quote:
In the event of a crash, with rear child seats -- even a well designed one with heaps of safety features -- the child is likely to suffer at least minor arm and neck injuries. With poorly designed rear mounted bike seats, there is also some danger of the child's foot getting caught in the spokes. In the USA, kid seats should meet the ASTM 1625-00 safety standard.
and

Quote:
Some road and traffic conditions favor trailers and other conditions favor child seats. Road and traffic considerations may be a more significant factor than stability issues so it can't be said that one method is better than another in a given situation.
and

Quote:
We know of no comprehensive study on the best method to carry an infant on a bike and there are risks associated with all of them..
08-19-2007 04:49 AM
raks I will always put my child in a bike trailer for the same reason I will always put them in a carseat when I am in a car.

I have never been in a car accident. But really that's no reason to think I never will be.

I have fallen off my bike. Not for many years and I don't *plan* on having a bike accident, but that's not to say I never will. I know plenty of people who have had very freak bike accidents. One guy in particular was unbelievably lucky that he survived and his fall was caused by a very small piece of uneven concrete. He was riding on a flat paved bike-only trail. No cars involved. He was wearing a helmet but still needed very risky brain surgery because of his accident (and for the record the helmet definitely saved his life).

It would only take one fall, and not even a bad one, to injure my child. Helmet or no helmet.

Mounted seat vs trailer: in general I feel the trailer is safer. I do, however make and exception to that. In very high traffic areas where I cannot go fast on the bike anyway, the mounted seat is sometimes safer. I've had some visibility problems with the trailer in high traffic areas.

Think about the risks involved. It might very well be worth it to you to find a used trailer or bike mounted seat.

(FWIW I live in a country where I have seen more than a few people riding with kids on their backs. And bike safety in general is pitiful. That is simply not something I would "conform" to.)
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