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Do You Force Your Kids To Wear Bicycle Helmets?

This paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research sounds interesting:

Cycling is popular among children, but results in thousands of injuries annually. In recent years, many states and localities have enacted bicycle helmet laws. We examine direct and indirect effects of these laws on injuries. Using hospital-level panel data and triple difference models, we find helmet laws are associated with reductions in bic…

  1. Fred Cole

    Wear a helmet, you dumb kids!

    Law be damned, you could suffer a TBI.  Don’t be idiots.

  2. DrewInWisconsin

    I do not force my children to wear helmets, because then I’d be a hypocrite. However, I encourage them to wear a helmet when biking, and they encourage me.

    However, I would much rather go for a bike ride with no helmet than be cooped up inside playing video games.

  3. Mama Toad

    Since we live on a great sledding hill and my offspring are crazy, I require bike helmets on all wheeled vehicles. I assume they are always doing crazy and dangerous things if they are on wheels. Like the old jogging stroller they push to the top of the hill, then shove down with a small child inside with no brakes or steering, screaming the whole way. Or a 10 yo tadpole riding a Big Wheels straight down our hill with his feet up in the air hooting and shouting. It makes you want to put a lid on the kid.

    But there ought not to be a law…

  4. Devereaux

    There are always freak accidents; helmets don’t change that. Children on bicycles in the usual settings don’t get enough speed to merit wearing helmets, whereas by a certain age the bicycling will increase in scope AND speed, making helmets useful.

    But the question continues to be whether the government should be demanding these efforts, rather than leave them up to parents to decide. Motorcycle helmets have long been a target of the ever-present government. So far they have been rebuffed, but in some places the law says you have to have a helmet even if you don’t wear one (talk about coersion without purpose).

    Government encroachment in private decisions is implacable. 

  5. Pelayo

    This is another case of Government trying to replace parental judgment and creating more unintended consequences.  As a kid, I rode my bike around the neighborhood every day. I would occasionally try stunts. I fell off my bike countless times without a helmet and never suffered a head injury.  I have two kids. They do not ride very often. When they do it is without a helmet.  They do not do any extreme cycling and in fact take less risks than I did at their age.  Why would I force them to wear one, much less want the Government to force them to wear one?  Parents and riders in general need to use common sense and wear a helmet if they feel it is warranted.  Anyone that does not want their kids to ever get hurt should cover them in bubble-wrap and lock them in their bedroom until they grow up.     

  6. Fred Cole
    Mama Toad: 

    But there ought not to be a law…

    WELL SAID.

    Wait, you, as a parent, were able to make that determination yourself based on your specific circumstances, what was best for your own children?

    That’s a thing?

  7. Fred Cole
    Mama Toad: Since we live on a great sledding hill and my offspring are crazy

    Sidenote:

    Do you require helmets when sledding?  Or haven’t they figured out a way to make the speeds high enough to make it dangerous.

  8. Mama Toad
    Fred Cole

    Mama Toad: 

    But there ought not to be a law…

    WELL SAID.

    Wait, you, as a parent, were able to make that determination yourself based on your specific circumstances, what was best for your own children?

    That’s a thing? · 0 minutes ago

    Perhaps I should re-phrase: At Toad Hall there IS a law, and its name is Mama Toad, and like the law of the Medes and the Persians altereth not…

  9. Edward Smith

    I rather wish legislators and regulators were as concerned with not saddling our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren not yet born with a national debt which will render any wages they are capable of earning not worth the spittle on cotton swab by virtue of giving us the kind of Dollars Robert Mugabe has given his people.

    Oh, and not encouraging them to burden themselves further with Higher Education you have to be stoned out of your mind to think its worth paying a 2053 Dollar for.

    Still, one most “do something”.

    I often wish the legislators and regulators were required to regularly dose themselves with extra strength Ex-Lax and be restricted to to bathrooms that have no electric outlets and get no signal for cell phone or wi-fi.

  10. Mama Toad
    Fred Cole

    Mama Toad: Since we live on a great sledding hill and my offspring are crazy

    Sidenote:

    Do you require helmets when sledding?  Or haven’t they figured out a way to make the speeds high enough to make it dangerous. · 2 minutes ago

    The speeds are dangerous, and sometimes I close the hill because of ice — my little one’s face is healing from sledding down the hill on it last week… We should, I suppose. We wear them downhill skiing, and we wear them ice skating, though.

    Perhaps, like many laws, the Law of Mama Toad is inconstantly applied…

  11. Edward Smith

    And what did Momma Toad get up to that gave cause for Grandmama Toad to have grey hair?

    A different hill, perhaps?

    And do the Winter Olympics await some of your brood?

    Mama Toad

    Fred Cole

    Mama Toad: Since we live on a great sledding hill and my offspring are crazy

    Sidenote:

    Do you require helmets when sledding?  Or haven’t they figured out a way to make the speeds high enough to make it dangerous. · 2 minutes ago

    The speeds are dangerous, and sometimes I close the hill because of ice — my little one’s face is healing from sledding down the hill on it last week… We should, I suppose. We wear them downhill skiing, and we wear them ice skating, though.

    Perhaps, like many laws, the Law of Mama Toad is inconstantly applied… · 1 minute ago

  12. Mama Toad

    I once bounced across the hood of a car after it knocked me off my bicycle, so I like helmets. They are well worth the matted sweat and lack of wind ruffling the hair.

  13. Shane McGuire

    My wife and I were walking through our neighborhood this weekend when we saw a mother teaching her child how to ride a bicycle. Of course, the child was wearing a helmet, and he looked like a dork because it’s impossible to look cool while wearing a bicycle helmet, unless you’re blood doping of course. And we started talking, and realized that neither of us ever wore a helmet on a bicycle when we were kids. Were I to purchase a bicycle today, I would not wear a helmet. 

    We have a little boy, though. And he’s all boy, if you catch my drift. I suspect we’ll make him wear a helmet to protect our sidewalks and streets from his noggin.

  14. Pilli
    Mama Toad: I once bounced across the hood of a car after it knocked me off my bicycle, so I like helmets. They are well worth the matted sweat and lack of wind ruffling the hair. · 0 minutes ago

    Are they?  The feel of the wind.  The feel of freedom.  The rush of exhilaration.  The wide open horizon stretching ahead.

    I used to bicycle a couple of miles to the swimming pool in my swim trunks and sneakers with a towel and a t-shirt tied to the  bike frame looking forward to a great day.  Totally carefree minimalism.  Bike helmets weren’t even invented then and we wouldn’t have worn them anyway.

  15. Mama Toad
    Pilli

    Mama Toad: I once bounced across the hood of a car after it knocked me off my bicycle, so I like helmets. They are well worth the matted sweat and lack of wind ruffling the hair. · 0 minutes ago

    Are they?  The feel of the wind.  The feel of freedom.  The rush of exhilaration.  The wide open horizon stretching ahead.

    I used to bicycle a couple of miles to the swimming pool in my swim trunks and sneakers with a towel and a t-shirt tied to the  bike frame looking forward to a great day.  Totally carefree minimalism.  Bike helmets weren’t even invented then and we wouldn’t have worn them anyway. 

    Carefree minimalism, meet hard hood of car vehicle. I like being able to walk, talk, and type. 

    I was not at error when I was hit by the car — I was in Japan where they drive on the left, and was riding straight down a hill with the right of way when a car made a right hand turn and hit me crossing the intersection.

    I was very sore the next day, and definitely was glad I bounced on my helmet not my skull.

  16. Mama Toad

    I disliked wearing a bike helmet when I started wearing one, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. It is no more “bothersome” than shoes are.

    There are times when no shoes is glorious and delightful, such as at the beach or walking across the new grass, but walking across a hot parking lot in the sun is dangerous on bare feet. 

  17. Fred Cole
    Mama Toad

    Fred Cole

    Mama Toad: Since we live on a great sledding hill and my offspring are crazy

    Sidenote:

    Do you require helmets when sledding?  Or haven’t they figured out a way to make the speeds high enough to make it dangerous. · 2 minutes ago

    The speeds are dangerous, and sometimes I close the hill because of ice — my little one’s face is healing from sledding down the hill on it last week… We should, I suppose. We wear them downhill skiing, and we wear them ice skating, though.

    Perhaps, like many laws, the Law of Mama Toad is inconstantly applied… · 1 hour ago

    You mean its not rigidly applied as to be absurd and it is subject to loving exemptions.

    I like the concept of you as The Law.  I find that very enjoyable.

  18. The King Prawn

    I make my kids wear helmets. One has no fear and the other has no sense. What’s the point of being a parent if I can’t be overbearing?

  19. Stu In Tokyo

    I don’t force my girls to wear a helmet I make it part of riding a bicycle, I always wear a helmet when I ride a bicycle or ride a motorcycle, I lead by example. I’ve had bad crashes on both bicycles and motorbike, none of the on road ones my fault, and I know for sure that the bicycle helmet I was wearing  saved my life. While I agree that the government should not make a law, I also ask about kids, if they can choose to wear, or not wear a helmet, what other big decisions should we allow an 8 year old to make by themselves? I don’t like the mandates, I think that once you are over 18, if you choose to not wear a helmet that is your choice, but I don’t have as much of a problem with kids being told to wear a helmet, I would rather that the parents make this choice. One of the bigger problems I have with bicycle helmets on kids is I seldom see them fitted correctly.

    bike_helmet.jpg

    Really it’s  not that hard.

  20. dash

    Ha! I couldn’t even get them to wear pants.

    Camille_Kirsten_moto.jpg

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