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  1. #1
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Do your little ones hate their helmets as much as my little one?

    My 20 month old still hates wearing his helmet. I started him in a trailer when he was about 13 months old, and I was hoping that he will get used to it after a while which did not happen. Now, after a period of 5 months with no riding, he is even more opposed to it than he used to be. Last summer, he was at least falling asleep after a while of fighting to take it off, but yesterday he fought all through the 1 hour ride I took him.

    How long did it take for your little ones to get used to the helmet? Even though he is in the trailer, I am hesitant to take the helmet off, but him not enjoying himself will become a worry if he keeps this up.

    Ihsan

  2. #2
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    Do you wear your helmet as an example?
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

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    We have not had many problems with helmets, but we have rarely used helmets in the trailer. So helmets don't really come into play for us until they come out of the trailer (onto their own bike, the TAB or the tandem) which is about 3+.

    At 20 months he is likely not talking very well yet and reasoning is also probably difficult. Any way that you could maneuver him into being excited to pick out his own helmet? You would get "buy in" that way. It also could be a fit issue. Something to consider, is it the helmet he does not like or the position of his head in the trailer with the helmet on? The seat backs along with the protrusion on the back of the helmet can force their head down. A neck pillow or towel around the neck can help get them into a more comfortable position.

    The helmet should not be an issue too much longer. He should be more compliant to rules in the coming months.

  4. #4
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
    Do you wear your helmet as an example?
    Yes I do. Religiously.

    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    At 20 months he is likely not talking very well yet and reasoning is also probably difficult. Any way that you could maneuver him into being excited to pick out his own helmet? You would get "buy in" that way. It also could be a fit issue. Something to consider, is it the helmet he does not like or the position of his head in the trailer with the helmet on? The seat backs along with the protrusion on the back of the helmet can force their head down. A neck pillow or towel around the neck can help get them into a more comfortable position.
    Well, he does pick his helmet up and comes to me when he wants to express his desire to go out riding. Once he gets his wish though, getting strapped into the trailer that is, he tries to get rid of it. The trailer has a "helmet pocket", which works very well but of course it is not the same as not wearing one.

    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    The helmet should not be an issue too much longer. He should be more compliant to rules in the coming months.
    Oh I can't wait.

    Thanks,
    Ihsan

  5. #5
    Scan Me DallasSoxFan's Avatar
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    I took my 2 year old into BikeMart and said, "Pick one." He got excited and picked one. I brought him home and let him wear it around the house a bit, unstrapped. Took him out to the bike and fastened the neck strap. He freaked. I asked him if he wanted the helmet off or did he want to go for a ride. he said off. I grabbed his hand and started walking back inside. He said "Go for ride". I said he had to strap on his helmet. He understood that he had two choices that he could choose from and I would be OK with either. He chose to fasten the helmet and have fun.

    You could always get a sheet of stickers and let the kid go nuts.

    When you ride, is it fun for the kid, or are you just making time? My rides with my son are 5 miles or so where we try to stop and play for 10 minutes at as many parks as we can. Takes a long time, but we both have fun.

    Man, I can't wait for daylight savings time...

  6. #6
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DallasSoxFan View Post
    When you ride, is it fun for the kid, or are you just making time? My rides with my son are 5 miles or so where we try to stop and play for 10 minutes at as many parks as we can. Takes a long time, but we both have fun.

    Man, I can't wait for daylight savings time...
    Last year he was having fun. I'm not so sure about yesterday's ride though. "Stop and play" breaks sound good actually. I may try that next week, weather permitting of course.

    Ihsan

  7. #7
    Senior Member gerald_g's Avatar
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    My little one (16 now) liked his a lot when he first got it. He wore it all day long. Once he was swimming in the kiddie pool on the back deck, and as he walked into the kitchen (lino floor) with wet feet, his feet went ...zip... out from under him, and he came down on the back of his head on the doorway threshold. (aluminum or steel thing) With the helmet on, he bounce right back up, and continued his day with no worries whatsoever.

  8. #8
    Scan Me DallasSoxFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihsan Gin View Post
    Last year he was having fun. I'm not so sure about yesterday's ride though. "Stop and play" breaks sound good actually. I may try that next week, weather permitting of course.

    Ihsan
    To me, they are really important.

    Put yourself in the kids shoes. You are just under 3 feet tall, you are in a trailer behind high wheels with a crappy plastic window staring at the back of a wheel, someone's hiney, and potentially a mesmerizing blinky. Some giant you call your dad straps you in to the point of non-movement and then hits every bump in the road for an hour...

    Now, take your adult attention span and cut it by about 70%.

    I always make a point to fun it up for the kid.

    Ideas:

    Go to the dollar store and got a $1 kite. it will wind up in a tree. Leave it there.
    Pack a loaf of bread and feed pigeons.
    Hit every park (NEVER ride past one). Make something special out of it.
    On climbs up hills, turn around and say, "I think i can, I think i can" and have him or her cheer\ "hooray!" when you get to the top. Bring a copy of the little engine that could and read it on a park bench.
    We "go for coffee." This entails us riding to a dunkin donuts 3 miles away and he gets a couple of munchkins and an OJ. I get an iced coffee. We sit and talk (as best as a 2 year old can). Then later we have to explain to other people that when our child says he wants coffee that that actually means he wants donuts.
    One thing he loves is "bicycle rocks" where he gets to take a fistful of pebble stones from the playground into the trailer and can throw them out the side. Its the ONLY time he is allowed to throw rocks. He LOVES it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerald_g View Post
    My little one (16 now) liked his a lot when he first got it. He wore it all day long. Once he was swimming in the kiddie pool on the back deck, and as he walked into the kitchen (lino floor) with wet feet, his feet went ...zip... out from under him, and he came down on the back of his head on the doorway threshold. (aluminum or steel thing) With the helmet on, he bounce right back up, and continued his day with no worries whatsoever.
    He liked to put it on and run around when we first got him as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by DallasSoxFan View Post
    To me, they are really important.

    Put yourself in the kids shoes. You are just under 3 feet tall, you are in a trailer behind high wheels with a crappy plastic window staring at the back of a wheel, someone's hiney, and potentially a mesmerizing blinky. Some giant you call your dad straps you in to the point of non-movement and then hits every bump in the road for an hour...

    Now, take your adult attention span and cut it by about 70%.

    I always make a point to fun it up for the kid.

    Ideas:

    Go to the dollar store and got a $1 kite. it will wind up in a tree. Leave it there.
    Pack a loaf of bread and feed pigeons.
    Hit every park (NEVER ride past one). Make something special out of it.
    On climbs up hills, turn around and say, "I think i can, I think i can" and have him or her cheer\ "hooray!" when you get to the top. Bring a copy of the little engine that could and read it on a park bench.
    We "go for coffee." This entails us riding to a dunkin donuts 3 miles away and he gets a couple of munchkins and an OJ. I get an iced coffee. We sit and talk (as best as a 2 year old can). Then later we have to explain to other people that when our child says he wants coffee that that actually means he wants donuts.
    One thing he loves is "bicycle rocks" where he gets to take a fistful of pebble stones from the playground into the trailer and can throw them out the side. Its the ONLY time he is allowed to throw rocks. He LOVES it.
    Thanks, I remember seeing one or two parks on our regular trail. Great suggestions.

    Ihsan

  10. #10
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    I battle with both my son, 8 and my daughter, 14, about wearing a helmet. My daughter has been warned by a police officer on the way to school and yet still its an argument. Drives me bonkers. It surely doesn't help that the neighborhood kids don't seem to wear one.

    I haven't been on a bike in years but I am shopping for one now and intend to wear a helmet always.

    I am going to try stickers for the 8 year old, that may help if only a little. Thanks!

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    for trailer rides, my kids don't wear helmets.

    if they want to ride on the trail-a-bike or their own bikes, helmets and shoes are mandatory. if they willfully disobey, i put the bike into a timeout.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mappable View Post
    for trailer rides, my kids don't wear helmets.
    Last week's was the first ride of the season so I'm willing to think that he may need to get used to them again, but if he continues to resist it I may have to do the same. I'm only riding with him on asphalt trails anyway.

    Ihsan

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    My question is whats the point of a helmet inside the trailer, there not going to hit their head on anything even if the trailer flipped over?
    We found that and eventually they managed to get them off while in the trailer. We let them pick them out, wear ours, they wore them around the house, etc. We are hoping now that he has a toy camera and two way radios to play with they might be distracted from the helmets.

  14. #14
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    We have six kids - 13 to 5 - and they use the helmets religiously because they know there is no option. They see mine in the back of the car with my bike and know dad uses his too. If I hop on the mountain bike and ride the half mile to the mail box without a helmet I get lectured by all of the kids - loudly.
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  15. #15
    Scan Me DallasSoxFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    My question is whats the point of a helmet inside the trailer, there not going to hit their head on anything even if the trailer flipped over?
    We found that and eventually they managed to get them off while in the trailer. We let them pick them out, wear ours, they wore them around the house, etc. We are hoping now that he has a toy camera and two way radios to play with they might be distracted from the helmets.
    The point is that if they wear the helmet in the trailer from the age of two, it becomes a natural part of bicycling. When they get out of the trailer and onto a trail a bike or a regular bike, there is no discussion.

    Having a two year old, i do a lot of things with him that make no sense for a two year old but will make perfect sense for a five year old. I do this so it isn't a fight when they are 5.

  16. #16
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    I started wearing a helmet as an example to the kids. They are now 11 and 15 and both automatically reach for their helmets. I let them pick them out when we went to go get them, they picked Pryme multi-sport, multi-hit helmets.

    When they were or trailering age, it was indeed somewhat difficult to get them to keep the helmets on. Like what was posted above give them their choices. Helmet on we can ride, no helmet no ride. My sister-in-law used to take my nephew everywhere in a bike seat then a trail-a-bike. He was a fighter cryer screamer, and would sometimes be riding down the road on the way to day care wailing away. Sometimes you just gotta strap it on and go if you have to be somewhere.

    I'll get lectured as well on those rare days I feel young and indestructible and leave the lid at home. They'll even call me at work when they get home from school. "Daddy.. you forgot your helmet!!!"

    Oh and trail-a-bikes train their muscles in the biking balance, when the nephew came to learn to ride it was basically ... push, watch him ride. Took all of two minutes. Can't say enough good things about them.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DallasSoxFan View Post
    The point is that if they wear the helmet in the trailer from the age of two, it becomes a natural part of bicycling.
    That's the whole reason I want him to get used to anyway, the only problem is he is 20 months old, and "take it or leave it" warnings may be meaningless at that age.

    Ihsan

  18. #18
    Freewheelin' Fred dwilbur3's Avatar
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    I guess we were just lucky. My daughter had no problem wearing a helmet at that age. Maybe because she loved Dora so much (a "Dora the Explorer" helmet)? Or maybe because she wanted to ride her "bike" (a big wheel at that point) so much.

    But two-year-olds are called "terrible twos" for a reason (even if they're only 20 months). Good luck, I think if you keep at it he'll get used to it. And I completely agree with getting them started early.

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    Yes

    We really struggle with our son when he is in the trailer as well. We put the helmet on him to start, but he rarely has it on when we stop. He even pulls the pads off the inside the helmet that velcro on and toss them out, and somehow we have always found them. I'm thinking some glue may be in order.

    Hate to admit it, but he often "wins". As we ride mostly on our local trail, and only a few blocks on low traffic streets (rarely meet a car) to get there, I've been a bad dad and let it go.

    I tell myself that the trailer adds protection from an accident like a dump over, but know deep down that if a car ever hit the trailer it would provide very little actual protection.

    I'll try to be a better dad this season... =\.

  20. #20
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    What age do you usually move to a trail a bike?

  21. #21
    Scan Me DallasSoxFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwilbur3 View Post
    I guess we were just lucky. My daughter had no problem wearing a helmet at that age. Maybe because she loved Dora so much (a "Dora the Explorer" helmet)? Or maybe because she wanted to ride her "bike" (a big wheel at that point) so much.

    But two-year-olds are called "terrible twos" for a reason (even if they're only 20 months). Good luck, I think if you keep at it he'll get used to it. And I completely agree with getting them started early.
    I have a son about to turn three. The "terrible twos" are not terrible. This is the age where they consciously realize they have control and are trying to figure out what the boundaries are. This is when you must be the most diligent and not let laziness, tiredness, distraction, etc. get in your way. You have to have stronger will then them even if it seems like something not to care about or trivial. It is not trivial because they are testing you and they know they are testing you.

    For me the terrible twos is only difficult because of the ENDLESS energy of the child. They can't play enough, can't sit still, and want to MOVE.

    They are two. If they don't want to wear a helmet it is not a choice. If they refuse, take away the play time and/or spank them depending upon the situation.

  22. #22
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    My boys see me in my helmet and want to be like me, so they wear theirs. They now put their helmets on instinctively whenever they ride bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc.

    Here is a pic of my youngest to prove the point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    What age do you usually move to a trail a bike?
    Depends on the kid and your comfort level, but ours typically start no earlier than 3, no later than 4.

    First rides are up and down the street familiarization rides. We increase gradually. We always have the trailer along to give them breaks from having to hang on (they typically can't pedal, and sometimes can't reach the pedals). The breaks are especially important if you travel on bumpy trails. They tense up and tire out their arms and hands. If you don't have a trailer and want some extra insurance that they can make it through the ride, get a seat back for the TAB. It provides a back rest and strap to help keep the child on the bike.

    Unfortunately, these types of threads usually devolve into "IMO on child rearing....."

  24. #24
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    This might not encourage you but, we never had any problem getting the kids to accept their helmets. For them it was always a part of cycling. My youngest always looks forward to putting his on for our rides because then he is like everyone else. Our kids always had a say in the helmets we got them. Usually there is a great deal of choice within any given price range. I don't remember doing anything else to make helmets more acceptable for them though.

  25. #25
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input. I think I have very good pointers to try from this thread.

    Ihsan

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