If Bicycle Helmets Looked Cooler, Kids Would Wear them More

Everyday I see kids riding their bikes to and from school without helmets. The other day when I was picking up my kids from school via bike, one kid comes up to me on his bike and makes a comment on how cool my Xtracycle is. I say thanks and I asked him where his helmet was. He then proudly taps his back pack and says…”its right in here!”

I tell him that if he were to fall, his back pack would be just fine, but his head wouldn’t…he looks at me puzzled, so I finally just said, “wear your helmet.” He tells me that his helmet looks stupid and that’s why he doesn’t wear it.

Well when he brought out his helmet to put on his head, I had to agree. It was this dumb looking thing and it didn’t even fit him. Plus he was missing a buckle on his straps to secure it. Being the dad that I am, I gave him a quick lecture about helmets and blah blah blah.

I tried to encourage the guy to talk to his parents about getting him a new one…the kind that not only fits, but looks good. The more I talk to kids, the more I’m learning they don’t want to look like a mushroom or look stupid in front of their peers because of their unstylish helmets.

Adults have so many choices of styles and colors for helmets, some costing as much as $150…but what about kids, their choices are limited and always lack in style. Oh and they are either too big or too small…but that’s another story. So if a helmet manufacturer is reading this, I say make some cooler looking helmets for kids…you might sell more too!


12 Comments

  1. Lance November 13, 2007 1:14 pm 

    I think your spot on with that assessment RL. I don’t see why they don’t make Spiderman or Hulk helmets…or whatever the kids are into these days.

    That’s your #1 concern with a helmet as a kid…am I gonna look stupid.

  2. Moe November 13, 2007 2:21 pm 

    Here’s the funny thing… My girls didn’t care for those Wally-World-Cartoon Helmets. I had to buy them helmets from my LBS. Even though I spent 3 times more, they love to wear their helmets, so they are damned well worth the money.

  3. Mike Myers November 13, 2007 7:16 pm 

    It would seem that most boys would prefer a BMX type helmet, what with the X Games being huge and all.

  4. Ghost Rider November 13, 2007 9:49 pm 

    Hey, a skate helmet (or similar brain bucket) is certainly better than nothing, and they come in some cool colors. Don’t you have one of these, RL?

    I think you all are right on the money…if helmets were cooler-looking, more kids would want to wear them. As parents, we can encourage OUR kids to wear helmets, but for other kids it’s harder to make that connection…

    The “shock” method works, too — “which would you rather: to look sort of dorky or to have bone splinters picked out of your brain?”

  5. RL Policar November 14, 2007 7:17 am 

    I do have one of those skater style helmets. The LBS that I got it from has multiple colors…from pinks to purples…I actually liked the pink just because it looked pretty cool.

  6. Jamie Fellrath November 14, 2007 11:24 am 

    Maybe the answer is to figure out a way to make the helmets look cool – stickers, painting, etc. That could even be a fun project to do with you kid.

  7. Stax November 17, 2007 8:14 pm 

    Mom thinks the cool looking helmet is less safe than the dorky looking helmet.

  8. Fortis May 12, 2010 3:54 am 

    Why should they wear a helmet? What is with this country and bicycle helmets. It’s just strange. Bicycling is not that dangerous as to require special safety equipment. The ride to school in the mini-van is hugely more dangerous; wearing a helmet in there would save more lives (like race car drivers do).

  9. Ghost Rider May 12, 2010 5:03 am 

    @Fortis…why should they wear a helmet? Because it’s the LAW in many municipalities. Here in Florida, children 16 and under are required to wear a bicycle helmet while riding. Similar laws are on the books in hundreds of other places.

  10. Raiyn May 12, 2010 6:06 am 

    Some days I just hate the “featured” slider

  11. Ghost Rider May 12, 2010 2:40 pm 

    @Raiyn,

    you noticed that too, eh? Dredges up all the cantankerous stuff…but I guess eyeballs on the archive is a good thing.

  12. Iron_Man May 12, 2010 2:51 pm 

    Odd then that 90% of all cycling deaths involved riders without helmets. Granted in some of those accidents a helmet may not have prevented death, but there does seem to be a correlation between lack of helmets and death. Perhaps the helmet indicates a rider that places a premium on safety.

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