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Tag Archive: children

Helmets are for Babies…

In one of my previous articles, I discussed ways to carry kids around on a bike and get them involved in biking as transportation early on. However, with the first phrase out of anyone’s mouth after an adult confesses to riding a bike being, “do you wear a helmet?” you can bet your panniers that helmets for kids – and especially little ones – are a must: if not for safety, for the impression of safety.

There's a child under the helmet, somewhere

The problem: hardly anyone in the U.S. really believes that kids under the age of 2 or so are going to be on a bike!  Hence… the great infant helmet search of 2012.

The first thing you have to figure out when looking for a helmet – for anyone – is head circumference (generally in centimeters, though a few manufacturers will throw you off and do it in inches). For R – our 9-month-old – that magic number is 45 cm. That makes things quite tricky – most “toddler” helmets don’t go that small – and those that do, look ridiculous on her! Additionally, a lot of helmets are designed for on-bike use and stick way out in the back – making it very hard to get an infant or toddler into a trailer or high-backed seat in anything resembling a comfortable position.

Here’s what I’ve tried or found reasonable-looking so far:

Lazer infant helmet – Only goes down to 46 cm, but Totcycle reports it’s a smaller helmet, so it leaves infants with less of an “I have a football helmet on my head” feel.

Nutcase's Little Nutty ("Hula Lounge" print)

Nutcase Little Nutty (XS) – More expensive than pretty much everything else at $55, but looks like it might not dwarf an infant head so much. The first Amazon review says it’s too small for a 2-year-old (which many others aren’t), so that may be a good indicator.

Giro Me2 – Only goes down to 48cm, looks huge on an infant. However, it’s a nice helmet and we’ve used it with our older daughter. Spin dial on back makes size adjustment a breeze.

Bell Sprout – Only goes down to 47cm, but says it’s optimized for trailers and seats – which may be better than many others.

Specialized Small Fry toddler – Fits 44-52cm according to the label, but it doesn’t fit my daughter’s 45cm head very well. Also, it’s approximately the size of her torso. A nice helmet overall though.

A lot of these are available in different styles – I’ve just linked to girly ones because we have girls (and when all you can see is helmet, it’s nice not to have your child’s gender misidentified).

Anyone else have a recommendation? Any experiences with any of the above?

So you wanna ride in Oregon with your children??? Well…you may want to think twice…

I’ve been following this topic to see what our “powers that be” here in Oregon will decide on a  new measure going before committee soon. As far as I can tell, without some amendments, this bill will not pass as is.
Oregon State Rep. Jules Bailey has been working with the draftsman of state measure HB 2228, Rep. Mitch Greenlick to amend the proposal.
Below is an article from Bicycle Retailer & Industry News reporter, Lynette Carpiet.
BIKE TRAILER BILL NOT LIKELY TO PASS
SALEM, OR (BRAIN)—An Oregon bill seeking to make it unlawful for a person to carry a child under 6 years old on a bike or in a bike trailer most likely will not advance out of committee as it is currently drafted, say people close to the matter.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland), a health researcher and former professor at the Oregon Health and Science University’s school of medicine, introduced the measure (HB 2228), saying he wasn’t “convinced that we are doing all we can to protect the health and safety of young children who join their parents bicycling on the streets and roads of Oregon.?

In a statement that followed, Greenlick cited a study completed at OHSU that showed that about 30 percent of riders who bike to work on a regular basis suffer a traumatic injury every year. In the same letter, he said the bill was not “anti-cycling,? but that he hoped to start a “rational discussion? about bike safety and children.

But the bill caused quite a stir throughout the Oregon bike community last week. A post on the popular BikePortland.org website about the bill drew more than 100 comments, and subsequent updates kept readers glued to the site.

“The nature of what this rep was proposing was over the top so you sort of expect a similar reaction from the community,? said BikePortland.org editor Jonathan Maus. “It was so preposterous, that it upset people on a personal level.?

The Oregonian, the state’s newspaper of record, reported that Rep. Greenlick received 100 emails the morning the bill became public, many from angry constituents. News stories on its site about the bill generated more than 300 comments, the paper reported.

Burley Designs, a 30-year-old company in Eugene, Oregon that sells and manufactures child trailers for bikes, ensures all of its trailers meet ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) safety standards on frame strength, durability and safety harnesses, said product and marketing manager Garrett Barnum, adding that no accident data specific to bike trailers or children on bike carriers exists.

“Since he proposed it, we’ve talked to a lot of media and state reps and legislators. They all responded and said the bill will not pass,? without amendments, Barnum said, adding that Burley was never approached by Rep. Greenlick on the matter of trailer safety. “But if that’s a result of this discussion, a study around child safety and trailers and bikes, that’s great. We are excited about the discussion around safety because that’s the strength of our products over lower-cost trailers sold at big-box stores.?

—Lynette Carpiet
lcarpiet@bicycleretailer.com

To read more about this heavily debated topic, check out BikePortland.Org
(Thanks go out to Jonathan Maus of BikePortland for keeping his finger on the pulse of this topic!)