Child with broken arm


Jul 25, 2004
So, my daughter, who is 5 years old, broke her left arm falling off of a scooter. She got it put in a cast yesterday, and luckily it's a short-arm cast, not an above-the-elbow cast (she has a buckle fracture of the radius, near the wrist).

Unfortunately, she's my riding buddy on Sundays as we do a paved 5.25 mile trail ride (albeit slowly with lots of water breaks, and it's a paved trail). She's going to miss the autumn leaves turning if she can't ride, and on this trail that is going to be spectacular.

So here are my questions:

1. Can she ride her bike? I forgot to ask the doctor, although I suspect he'd recommend against it and I didn't want to ask him with my daughter in the room. I suspect the answer to this is "Not recommended". I don't think it's possible to go back to training wheels. My son tried it one day riding someone else's bike and flat out couldn't do it.

2. How can I include here in my rides without breaking the bank? The tow-behind carts I've read are sized for very small children, which she's not being rather tall even for 5. The tow-behind mini bikes (the ones that make your bike look like a 3 wheel tandem) where they pedal along with you look like she could just as easy fall off of that as a regular bike since it hinges at the seat, so that doesn't really help. The WeeHoo looks really like the ticket, but at 400 dollars....Not in my range.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

EDIT: After looking around, I'm not sure my assertion in item 2 is true. WeeRide Co-Pilot, which wouldn't break the bank, doesn't look unstable, although I guess if I wiped out she would too. It might actually be useful even after her arm heals so I can take her for longer, faster training rides than she can handle on her own. Since the handlebars are really there for comfort, I don't think her arm would hinder her that much. Opinions?
Larger kids can ride in tow-behinds. For my burley, weight is the limiting factor. My two eldest children eventually got too heavy to both ride at once - the frame was bending and making the wheels rub. The top covers can come off for taller riders.

My kids feel a bit unstable on the tow-bikes. It takes several minutes for you and them to get the feel of mutual balance - I imagine that it would be very difficult for a child to feel secure enough without the use of one arm. Despite the alien feel, they are pretty stable - just don't get out of the saddle when riding.

There is always the option to change the ride to a walk, you could bring a wagon or jogging stroller.
I'm not going to do anything without talking to her doctor, but I need to go to him with information. He may not have ever heard of tow-behind bicycles, but I don't want to waste his time if it's an inherently bad idea.

During our discussion during casting, he emphasized things to avoid were hanging and pushing up with it, but said that the fiberglass casts were really tough and would protect it from just about anything else.

She has use of that arm, as it's a short-arm cast (so it doesn't cover her elbow). Her fingers and thumb are not immobilized. Last night I watched her swarm all over the playground like nothing was wrong, even climbing with it (was NOT happy about that, but she wasn't using her hand to pull, she was wrapping it around the bar and gripping only with her good hand, but even so).

Maydog, your information on the tow-bike is definitely useful, and give me something to think about. I'm actually considering it anyway since I could bring her on training rides (which would open up time for me to bike on days when it's just me and her, and towing her would probably be good exercise).