Protect your Kids’ “Noggin” and Eyes! (Giveaway!)

We do a lot of bike riding around here.  So do a lot of other people (YEA!)  However, I am shocked by the amount of times I see a kid wearing an improperly sized helmet or no sunglasses out and about.  Both seem to be crucial safety pieces for traveling on wheels, and our kids are absolutely required to wear them (especially the helmet.)

Over the past few years, we have done quite a bit of looking for both helmets and sunglasses that work for our kids and their active/rough-and-tumble lives.  While gear is constantly changing and improving, these are my top recommendations for both categories as our knowledge stands right now.  They have worked for both boys (aged 1+ and 3+).

Before we dive into the gear, we wanted to just (hopefully) drive home the point about (well-fitting) helmets.  The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) has some fabulous information about children specifically.  I especially loved this article about how children see traffic (and the dangers of it) differently than adults (it’s definitely an eye-opener!)  If you want a real “scare” that will send you out to get your child a helmet right away, check out these child statistics (also over at BHSI).  A few I thought were worth sharing (taken directly from their site):

“Ninety-one percent of bicyclists killed in 2009 reportedly weren’t wearing helmets.”  (from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

“Bike accidents crash-land more kids in hospital emergency rooms than any other sport.  In fact, kids aged 5 to 14 get hurt more often than bikers of any other age!  Every day, about 1,000 kids end up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries from bikes – like broken bones or brain concussions. About one kid every day dies of these injuries. Others suffer lifetime problems, like limping or brain damage.”  (from the US Consumer Product Safety Commision, 2008)

Also on that site is significant research that proves that helmets DO make a difference.  Among other stats, they found that “riders with helmets had an 85% reduction in their risk of head injury.”

The point is NOT to scare you into never letting your child ride a bike (because that is not AT ALL what we want,) but rather to encourage helmet use. Every time they ride.  Better yet, “monkey see, monkey do”  – Wear YOUR helmet too.  Every time you ride.  Again, it is also very crucial to point out the importance of a well-fitting helmet.  A helmet should sit level on a child’s (or your) head and be snug when clasped.  You shouldn’t be able to fit two fingers under the helmet and it shouldn’t move around if you shake your head.  **One more point: No one recommends children under a year wearing bike helmets because of a lack of development in their neck muscles.**

And not to leave the importance of sunglasses on kids out, please remember:

  • Harmful UV rays effect your kids too.  AND the damage can be cumulative.
  • Like any habit, persistence with kids at a young age is crucial.  And believe me, I get having to put sunglasses back on a million times a day (ug!)
  • When biking especially, sunglasses provide important protection against road dust, small rocks, bugs and other “flying objects”
  • It is absolutely worth it to spend the little extra money on quality sun glasses.  The ones you buy at the grocery store that are cute usually don’t do much to help protect.  

Sunglasses by Julbo:

THE best kids sunglasses we have found.  I honestly wouldn’t spend the money on any other kind.  Five stars from us!

Loopings (available in 3 different sizes for ages 0-4 years.) $32

These sunglasses are the most comfortable pair we have ever found for babies.  They can be worn either direction (so will never go on upside down), can be completely bent and twisted, and provide excellent protection.  Yes, I absolutely still fight P as far as wearing sunglasses, but once he forgets about them, he wears them comfortably and happily.  They fit snug on Baby’s head (so really don’t fall off unless they are pulled off) and come with a safety strap that can be worn (or removed) around Baby’s head.  **Please note, the one downfall we have found is these consistently run just a tad small.**

Bubble (for kids aged 3-5) $40

Definitely different glasses than the Loopings with hinged ear pieces, we have been really equally pleased with these.  They are light and flexible for the highest amount of comfort.  J really put them through some intense abuse, bending them in ways really only the Loopings should be bent (because of the hinges.)  While they certainly aren’t built for that, they held up with only some slight wear around the hinges.  I would love for the Loopings to be made just one size bigger (because “Little Mr. Big Head” doesn’t fit into the Loopings 3, but is still using them like an active 3 year old!)

Julbo sunglasses can be found on their site (see links above), on Amazon.com and at many outdoor stores.

 

Helmets by Lazer Sport:

Nut’Z $60

I have never been so pleased with a bike helmet (for kid OR adult.)  The Nut’Z comes with an auto-fit system so it fits right on your child’s head EVERY time.  The only adjustments needed are on the straps.  It fits kids’ heads 50-56 cm and has 16 vents.  Even better, the straps have a unique clasp system that slides back and forth with a magnet so no clasps (or pinched chins…) is needed.  Genius.  And absolutely worth every penny.

Clasp Closed (push button at top to slide and release)
Clasp opened (slides closed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob (Baby on Board) $25

He wants to ride SO bad.

The main reason we originally approached Lazer Sport was because of the BOB.  We were having a terrible time finding a helmet small enough for P.  He has had excellent head control from about 4 months, but he is TINY.  The helmet we had for J was not even close to being able to fit.  When we tried on a Bob at a bike shop we happened to wander into, we were sold.  The helmet fits infants 46-52 cm, has 6 vents, is ultra-soft on the inside and has reflective material on it for added safety.  The adjustment system at the back of the helmet is super easy, and P loves wearing it (because he is comfortable in it, even sitting in the bike trailer.)  The only thing I would change is using the same “no-pinch” clasp as the Nut’Z.  Again, highly recommended.

Bob adjustment

Check out where to buy Lazer helmets here.

HELMET GIVEAWAY!

I am very excited that Lazer Sport has offered the chance for one of you to win a helmet (Genesis road or Oasiz MTB helmet, or a children’s helmet)!  Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (just refresh your page if you don’t see it!)  Good luck!

Congratulations to Jennifer Logan!!!  Check your inbox!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

These helmets and sunglasses were generously given to us for this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.

© 2012, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

27 thoughts on “Protect your Kids’ “Noggin” and Eyes! (Giveaway!)”

  1. Christopher Sorel

    I never have woren a helmet but my kids do. I do wear elbow pads when moutnain biking. Heck I play hockey without a helmet

  2. I have always worn a helmet and still do. We haven’t gone biking with our daughter yet (nine months) but hope to next year, and I plan to get a good helmet for her.

  3. Very cool sunglasses. Always trying to find ones that stay on my son’s head. And my son definitely needs an upgraded helmet. We got his at a garage sale for $2.

  4. I wear a helmet when I leave my little area in our neighborhood on my bike. My kids wear helmets. They also wear them in the house when we are under a tornado warning. I like the idea of the magnet to prevent pinching. Is it a strong magnet that will hold up under impact?

  5. I bought Claire bell helmet from a local big box store and the foam cushions on the inside starting coming off after a couple of months. I took it back and they gave me a full refund. I went to the local bike shop and bought her a new helmet the same day. It only cost $10 more and is a much better quality helmet!

  6. Ameila,

    I never wore a helmet growing up and I have to be honest and do not make my children wear helmets when biking. Lauren does wear a helmet but not the older ones. Sunglasses I try to have them all wear them but, they are so expensive. I have wanted to try a more expensive pair but, just do not have the pocket book for them.

  7. Helmers for all of us every ride. I equate it with a seatbelt, it won’t prevent an accident but it could minimize the damage. I truly don’t see a reason not to. My kiddos just see it as a given, non-negotiable.

    Sunglasses on the other hand have been a pain to get them to wear. We put up a windshield for my little guy in the front seat because he wouldn’t keep his on. We have a 1 and 3 (almost 4), too. Both have been riding since 6 months.

  8. I’m not the most confident biker, so I do wear a helmet. Husband doesn’t. Kiddos do when they’re in the bike trailer, but not around the house.

  9. Encouraging post, because i have been lazy in both of these areas, and it needs to stop! Haven’t found any good sunglasses for little ones – I will definitely look at Loopings.

    My almost 2 year old is close to getting the hang of his Strider balance bike , and we REALLY need to get him used to wear a helmet … before he cuts loose! 🙂

  10. Okay- I admit it – I’m a hypocrit. When we go for family rides the kids usually have helmets but I dont. I guess I feel like a pansy wearing one when I could actually be running faster than the kids often ride

  11. I love the Julbo sunglasses for my kids too. Although it’s hard to spend $30 or $40 on them when I can get the cheapo kind elsewhere, they really are the best and they stay on… usually. Too bad my kids both lost their pair!!

  12. This is great Amelia! We have had so much trouble finding a helmet for Miles that fits properly. Thanks for the recommendations!

  13. I also have found that it is really challenging to find a helmet for my daughter. Really wish I would have had this when camping a few weeks ago in Door County WI with all the biking we did. My daughter (17 months) has such a small head and still have yet to find one that will adjust to her and also grow with her.

  14. We always wear a helmet and bought one for our oldest when she got her bike. I recently added a gopro mount and it was a good experience to review how she rides. It made me smile to see her looking both ways on the video before crossing the street!

  15. I always wear a helmet and so does my wife and kid. I have seen to many people hurt while riding bikes and not wearing one will definatly kill you if you were ever hit by a car.

  16. I religiously wear my helmet and my kids have always worn one when riding. Leading by example is huge and we’ve never had an issue with the kids not wanting to put theirs on.

  17. I do wear a helmet. And when my son is old enough to ride with us he will wear one too. Unfortunately, I’ve seen what not wearing a helmet can do to a child – my friend’s son was hit by a city bus while riding his bike. He sustained massive injuries and a traumatic brain injury. Once he was released from the hospital we held a fundraiser to help with his medical bills and to raise awareness for bike safety. He just graduated from high school although he continues to struggle with memory loss and other long term issues.

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