Bicycle Safety

Today we walked down to post three letters. (Will you be one of the lucky three recipients???)My boy rode his bike and I pushed mine with the baby in the seat on the back. I didn't ride because the baby doesn't have a helmet.

My older child started going on my bike when he was eight months old, in a front seat designed for babies, attached to the handle bars. I didn't get his helmet until he was over a year, actually he was just two I remember now. I won't let him go without it now so I really want to get one for my little fella.

I have since found out that helmets are not recommended for under twos nor is riding on a bicycle because of potential brain injury, like shaken baby syndrome. Of course armed with this information I am stuck - too paranoid to ignore the safety advisory.

More mothers seem to be putting helmets on their preschoolers which I think is great. Helmets are compulsory in New Zealand for all cyclists and it's enforced by law. I have often wondered what the statistics for injury (or worse) are in Japan given that so many people ride bikes.


  1. It is a tough call. My 16 month old rides on my bike almost every day twice a day when we take his sister to school. (try one on the front and one on the back - quite the workout) They both wear helmets, use the seat restraints, and I try to be as careful and safe during those 10 minutes it take us to get there and back. I just hope for the best. I've had people nearly run over us walking with a stroller so I am not sure we are any safer that way, you know.

    Those moms who ride their bikes with a baby strapped on their back really get to me though.

  2. I am not aware of any evidence that Shaken Baby Syndrome can result from a bicycle accident.

    With helmets and appropriate seat restraints, if the accident did not otherwise cause injury, it seems unlikely that an infant would experience the violent whiplash and rotation of the head that causes the type of injuries found in shaken children.

    Of course, there are injuries which can occur in an accident which are serious in their own right. Head trauma is never a good thing, and rarely benign.

    Even mild traumatic brain injuries can cause cognitive and learning disabilities.

    I think you've taken the most important steps in accident prevention: recognizing it can happen to you and being as prepared
    as you can.

    If we do what we can, we've done all we can do.


  3. I agree Sherry and George, you can only be as safe as you can. If I had a helmet for Little T I would definitely be riding. So far I haven't been able to find one in Japan that's small enough and lightweight. I bought the other helmet in New Zealand.

    This link is where I read about shaken baby syndrome and use of bicycle trailers and seat attachments.

    I'm sure driving the car without child car seats is a whole lot more dangerous but that's a whole different topic - which we won't go into to!

  4. I guess that is where it paid off having a couple of big, Japanese headed babies. LOL! The helmet for 2 year olds fit them just fine.


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