Bike Rides With Kids…..When Is It Safe? | A Littlelondoner

Bike Rides With Kids…..When Is It Safe?

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We recently purchased a trailer for the back of my husbands bike for the kids, so we can all go out for a bike ride. Previously we had a carrier for the back of his bike for Amelia, and when Harry turned a year I started looking into ways of taking them both out with us. I wasn't confident enough to have him on the back of my bike, so I looked into bike trailers and how safe they really were. Ours has an aluminium frame and 3 point harness for both kids, as well as an extra belt  I can tie across both kids. The bug/weather shield is great and we carry our essentials in the roomy back pocket, and keep a blanket in the front for their legs. It feels solid and comfortable, and its a great way to get out together.

 

Halfords Double Buggy Extra Info

  • Double child bike trailer
  • Easy to assemble
  • No tools required
  • Universal coupler attaches easily to your bicycle
  • Bug screen and rain shield to protect your children from bugs and bad weather
  • Folds flat for compact storage
  • Safety harness holds child securely
  • Hard wearing and highly durable construction
  • Includes high visibility flag and rear reflector for improved visibility and safety
  • Storage pockets at the rear and under the seats for cycling essentials
  • 50lbs weight limit per child
  • Each child must wear a safety helmet when using this bike buggy
  • Not for use with a child under 12 months old

bike trailer

Are they safe?

I have been asked this a lot when people meet us out, or on pictures I've posted on social media. From years working in Emergency Departments, I know only too well how a head injury can not only end a life, it can have detrimental life changing consequences.I researched and researched, and felt happy that this bike trailer was a safe option. Amelia is well use to being out on the bike, and wearing a helmet is not an option. It's put on every time she is on her own bike, scooter and on the back of the bike….Harry is another story! He keeps whiping it off, so I'm hoping the more we go out, the more he will get use to it.Anyone with any tips here, please leave a comment below!

Do they like the trailer? Amelia loves it, Harry has his moments. He needs a break every half hour or so, or if I leave his water bottle in the side pocket for him and some snacks, he will be distracted by these, again, I'm sure in time he will enjoy it as much as his sister.

 

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So from what age is it safe to take a baby out on a bike?

All research suggests not taking an infant of less than 12 months in a bicycle child seat, trailer, sidecar or any other carrier. We are hearing more now about undiagnosed brain injuries, with symptoms too subtle for doctors to detect in a clinical setting, but very real to families. And that comes to mind whenever someone asks about babies and biking.  Although crashes with an infant could be devastating, nobody expects to crash. But we do know that most bike trails and lanes are not smoothly paved, and shaking your baby is unavoidable. It’s not about crashes at all, it’s about the potential for repeated mild trauma to the brain because of bumps associated with everyday road conditions. What is undocumented is what is happening to the brain during the bumps. Children under 12 months should NOT be on bikes. Children are just learning to sit unsupported at about 9 months of age. Until this age, infants have not developed sufficient bone mass and muscle tone to enable them to sit unsupported with their backs straight. Pediatricians advise against having infants sitting in a slumped or curled position for prolonged periods. This position may even be exacerbated by the added weight of a bicycle helmet on the infant’s head.

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Trailers may be the safest way to take a young child along on a ride, and this is why we chose ours. They are lower to the ground, so if you crash the baby will fall a shorter distance, even when you turn the trailer over. One study reported in a medical journal article indicated after examining data based on very small numbers of crashes that trailers were safer. Trailer arrangements can be better if you support the child's head on both sides with padding so it cannot bobble around too much, particularly when they doze off and you are not aware of it. But seated upright or reclining in a trailer the baby also needs a pillow behind them to provide clearance for their helmet in the back. Without the pillow their chin is forced down toward the chest by the thickness of the back of the helmet. While I do worry about if its a rough ride for them, being so low to the ground, I feel they are in the safest position should the bike/trailer topple over.

 

 

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T, A & H xxxxxx

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