This article was published in 2012, in Newsletter 105.
The choice to wear helmets – or not
The article on helmets in the recent newsletter was excellent. I agree that helmet wearing should be a matter of choice. But I really did think that the SPOKES Edinburgh leaflet was rather overdoing it.
One thing, though, is that very young cyclists (up to say age 8) definitely fall off their bikes a lot (my three all did). For example they don’t judge skiddiness of gravel paths well, and they are thrown off drop kerbs until they learn to approach them square on. And if they look over their shoulder to check that dad is still following then they lose balance. And a hand off the handlebars to scratch an itch on the nose … crash! All this makes me convinced that it is a good idea to advise parents that their small kids should wear a helmet, at least to avoid a nasty scrape down the side of the face. Then when they’re 10 or 11 years old let them go free if they want. Anyway, peer pressure will take over…