What advice to give - WARNING: contains helmets

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Tilly, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Tilly

    Tilly Guest

    What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    helmet use when offering cycle training?

    At present I duck the issue:

    You will also need to consider insisting that your child wears a
    helmet during training, especially in the playground where cycling
    skills are being challenged. However, if a helmet does not fit
    correctly and I cannot adjust it, your child will not be able to take
    part in the training if you have requested helmet use.

    The parents then have three choices:

    I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.
     
    Tags:


  2. DaveR

    DaveR Guest

    Tilly wrote:
    > What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    > helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >
    > At present I duck the issue:
    >
    > You will also need to consider insisting that your child wears a
    > helmet during training, especially in the playground where cycling
    > skills are being challenged. However, if a helmet does not fit
    > correctly and I cannot adjust it, your child will not be able to take
    > part in the training if you have requested helmet use.
    >
    > The parents then have three choices:
    >
    > I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.


    Do you have to give advice? If not then duck the issue properly
    by not bringing it up in the first place.
     
  3. Peter Fox

    Peter Fox Guest

    Following on from Tilly's message. . .
    >What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    >helmet use when offering cycle training?

    Here is my approach:

    Whether or not your child wears a helmet is entirely up to you[parent]
    but you must tell us[1] and you must ensure they bring it with them and
    you must have adjusted it correctly or tell us you don't know how to
    adjust it.



    The important message is that training is at least 100 times more
    effective safety-wise than a helmet. (It may be important to get this
    across to kids as well 'cos they won't go far without some well meaning
    person chiding them for going out on a bike without a helmet.) IME kids
    are good at picking the bones out of this sort of thing if they are well
    trained by real cyclists with good teaching skills in real situations.
    Even a 10-yo can tell when they need to watch for the traffic and spot
    where their mates are shaky and are full of enthusiasm to do the job
    really well.[2]





    [1] Part of a parental consent form that covers the usual stuff but also
    EXPLAINS what goes on and how it goes on. (Shock horror! "WHAT! On the
    roads! ... Yes that's 'cos we know what we're doing and also do you
    teach drivers to drive in school playgrounds????.)

    [2] Yes folks: Training is REALLY satisfying.


    --
    PETER FOX Not the same since the borehole business dried up
    [email protected]
    2 Tees Close, Witham, Essex.
    Gravity beer in Essex <http://www.eminent.demon.co.uk>
     
  4. > What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    > helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >
    > At present I duck the issue:


    I'd be tempted to not even mention them. This means you won't have to
    exclude a child because of an ill fitting helmet. Also, if the parent
    ticks the 'Yes to helmet' box then you might have a duty to ensure the
    child continues to wear it. Not bringing them up seems least
    problematical.
     
  5. Paul - xxx

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Peter Fox composed the following;:

    > The important message is that training is at least 100 times more
    > effective safety-wise than a helmet. (It may be important to get this
    > across to kids as well 'cos they won't go far without some well meaning
    > person chiding them for going out on a bike without a helmet.) IME kids
    > are good at picking the bones out of this sort of thing if they are well
    > trained by real cyclists with good teaching skills in real situations.
    > Even a 10-yo can tell when they need to watch for the traffic and spot
    > where their mates are shaky and are full of enthusiasm to do the job
    > really well.[2]


    Nicely put.

    --
    Paul ...
    (8(|) Homer Rules ..... Doh !!!
     
  6. Paul - xxx

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Tilly composed the following;:
    > What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    > helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >
    > At present I duck the issue:


    I think it's probably important enough, for you and for them, to not duck
    the issue. We know it's not fair, but I would think that if you're training
    the kids it's likely that any insurance you have would require them, in the
    event of an accident and claim, to have been wearing helmets.

    > You will also need to consider insisting that your child wears a
    > helmet during training, especially in the playground where cycling
    > skills are being challenged. However, if a helmet does not fit
    > correctly and I cannot adjust it, your child will not be able to take
    > part in the training if you have requested helmet use.


    That's fair enough. If a helmet fits wrongly, then it's more of a danger
    than a safety device.

    It might be worth your while getting some small A6 or even credit card sized
    cards made up with the 'rules' printed and laminated. At least you've done
    your bit, and just as importantly these days have been seen to have done
    your bit, in a reasonable way.

    > The parents then have three choices:
    >
    > I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.


    I agree. You shouldn't have to make the decision, though as mentioned
    above, it might be forced upon you and so it also might be wise to make them
    all wear suitable helmets, especially for the first few lessons. Perhaps
    once they reach some arbitraray level of cycling competence, say cycle up
    and down a length of cones without stopping or falling off etc, then they
    can have a choice.

    --
    Paul ...
    (8(|) Homer Rules ..... Doh !!!
     
  7. Tilly

    Tilly Guest

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:52:29 +0000, DaveR
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Tilly wrote:
    >> What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    >> helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >>
    >> At present I duck the issue:
    >>
    >> You will also need to consider insisting that your child wears a
    >> helmet during training, especially in the playground where cycling
    >> skills are being challenged. However, if a helmet does not fit
    >> correctly and I cannot adjust it, your child will not be able to take
    >> part in the training if you have requested helmet use.
    >>
    >> The parents then have three choices:
    >>
    >> I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.

    >
    >Do you have to give advice? If not then duck the issue properly
    >by not bringing it up in the first place.


    School politics dictate that parents must decide.
     
  8. Tilly

    Tilly Guest

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 00:13:02 +0000, Peter Fox
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Following on from Tilly's message. . .
    >>What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    >>helmet use when offering cycle training?

    >Here is my approach:
    >
    >Whether or not your child wears a helmet is entirely up to you[parent]
    >but you must tell us[1] and you must ensure they bring it with them and
    >you must have adjusted it correctly or tell us you don't know how to
    >adjust it.


    Brilliant! A couple of minor changes. My experience is that parents
    rarely adjust helmets correctly.

    Whether or not your child wears a helmet is between you and your child
    but you must tell us and you must ensure they bring it with them and
    it must fit correctly or be adjustable to fit correctly.

    >The important message is that training is at least 100 times more
    >effective safety-wise than a helmet. (It may be important to get this
    >across to kids as well 'cos they won't go far without some well meaning
    >person chiding them for going out on a bike without a helmet.) IME kids
    >are good at picking the bones out of this sort of thing if they are well
    >trained by real cyclists with good teaching skills in real situations.
    >Even a 10-yo can tell when they need to watch for the traffic and spot
    >where their mates are shaky and are full of enthusiasm to do the job
    >really well.[2]
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >[1] Part of a parental consent form that covers the usual stuff but also
    >EXPLAINS what goes on and how it goes on. (Shock horror! "WHAT! On the
    >roads! ... Yes that's 'cos we know what we're doing and also do you
    >teach drivers to drive in school playgrounds????.)
    >
    >[2] Yes folks: Training is REALLY satisfying.
     
  9. Tilly

    Tilly Guest

    On 11 Mar 2005 03:29:48 GMT, Mark Thompson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    >> helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >>
    >> At present I duck the issue:

    >
    >I'd be tempted to not even mention them. This means you won't have to
    >exclude a child because of an ill fitting helmet. Also, if the parent
    >ticks the 'Yes to helmet' box then you might have a duty to ensure the
    >child continues to wear it. Not bringing them up seems least
    >problematical.


    Unfortunately, not an option.
     
  10. Tilly

    Tilly Guest

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 06:05:53 -0000, "Paul - xxx"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Tilly composed the following;:
    >> What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    >> helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >>
    >> At present I duck the issue:

    >
    >I think it's probably important enough, for you and for them, to not duck
    >the issue. We know it's not fair, but I would think that if you're training
    >the kids it's likely that any insurance you have would require them, in the
    >event of an accident and claim, to have been wearing helmets.


    We looked into that.

    As a school, if we ask that helmets are worn we have a duty to provide
    them. If we give parents a choice we have no such duty.

    >> You will also need to consider insisting that your child wears a
    >> helmet during training, especially in the playground where cycling
    >> skills are being challenged. However, if a helmet does not fit
    >> correctly and I cannot adjust it, your child will not be able to take
    >> part in the training if you have requested helmet use.

    >
    >That's fair enough. If a helmet fits wrongly, then it's more of a danger
    >than a safety device.
    >
    >It might be worth your while getting some small A6 or even credit card sized
    >cards made up with the 'rules' printed and laminated. At least you've done
    >your bit, and just as importantly these days have been seen to have done
    >your bit, in a reasonable way.
    >
    >> The parents then have three choices:
    >>
    >> I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.

    >
    >I agree. You shouldn't have to make the decision, though as mentioned
    >above, it might be forced upon you and so it also might be wise to make them
    >all wear suitable helmets, especially for the first few lessons. Perhaps
    >once they reach some arbitraray level of cycling competence, say cycle up
    >and down a length of cones without stopping or falling off etc, then they
    >can have a choice.


    The training is for Level 1B (stopping quickly, swerving, looking
    behind without wobbling, signalling) and Level 2 (cycling safely on
    residential and local roads) of the National Standards. Level 1A is
    being able to cycle without support. If they are below Level 1A they
    need additional individual training.
     
  11. Tilly wrote:
    > What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    > helmet use when offering cycle training?


    <snip>

    > The parents then have three choices:
    >
    > I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.


    Despite not wearing a lid myself except when very icy, I think I would
    want my offspring to wear one as a beginner doing low-speed training
    manoeuvres on a concrete surface.

    Once competent, I'd bring them up to speed on the effectiveness of
    helmets and the importance of correct fitment, and leave it up to them.

    I would be inclined to make it entirely optional for the parents (or let
    them delegate the decision to the child) but make it absolutely
    mandatory that if a helmet is worn, it is correctly fitted. Give some
    suitable guidelines on snug fit, no exposed forehead etc.

    I see a high proportion kids round our way wearing helmets to fulfil a
    parental policy, but worn so far back as to be totally useless.

    --
    Mark.
    http://tranchant.plus.com/
     
  12. Tilly [on Fri, 11 Mar 2005 07:32:49 +0000] wrote:

    > As a school, if we ask that helmets are worn we have a duty to provide
    > them. If we give parents a choice we have no such duty.


    Excuse me, but I don't quite understand. Why must you provide a helmet if
    they are mandatory?

    [Perhaps a skewed comparison, but....do you require kids to wear
    clothes?]

    --
    Erick
    Low Countries By Bike - http://lowcountriesbybike.info
     
  13. Mark Tranchant wrote:
    > Tilly wrote:
    >
    >> What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    >> helmet use when offering cycle training?

    > <snip>


    If speaking to them, I think you should attempt to dispel their
    illusions about what helmets can do.

    >> The parents then have three choices:
    >> I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.

    >
    > Despite not wearing a lid myself except when very icy, I think I would
    > want my offspring to wear one as a beginner doing low-speed training
    > manoeuvres on a concrete surface.
    >
    > Once competent, I'd bring them up to speed on the effectiveness of
    > helmets and the importance of correct fitment, and leave it up to them.
    >
    > I would be inclined to make it entirely optional for the parents (or let
    > them delegate the decision to the child) but make it absolutely
    > mandatory that if a helmet is worn, it is correctly fitted. Give some
    > suitable guidelines on snug fit, no exposed forehead etc.
    >

    Difficult judgement call, this. As soon as you bring up the issue,
    even if you try to be as neutral as possible, you've planted the idea
    that they're (a)advisable and (b) effective.

    Then you need some text to point out their limitations. I think it's
    irresponsible not to provide this, to counterbalance others' opinions
    that they cure all ills.

    I like the bit about training being far more effective than lids. I'd
    want some figures on the effectiveness of training at reducing
    casualties to back this up, though.

    IMO even the Cycle Training UK form needs tweaking, and they mostly
    get this issue right.

    Colin McKenzie
    --
    The great advantage of not trusting statistics is that
    it leaves you free to believe the damned lies instead!
     
  14. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Tilly
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:52:29 +0000, DaveR
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>Tilly wrote:
    >>> What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    >>> helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >>>
    >>> At present I duck the issue:
    >>>
    >>> You will also need to consider insisting that your child wears a
    >>> helmet during training, especially in the playground where cycling
    >>> skills are being challenged. However, if a helmet does not fit
    >>> correctly and I cannot adjust it, your child will not be able to
    >>> take part in the training if you have requested helmet use.
    >>>
    >>> The parents then have three choices:
    >>>
    >>> I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.

    >>
    >>Do you have to give advice? If not then duck the issue properly
    >>by not bringing it up in the first place.

    >
    > School politics dictate that parents must decide.


    I think what you have to be very careful of is implying there's any
    safety benefit from wearing a helmet. I would try

    "You will also need to consider whether you wish your child to wear a
    helmet during training..."

    'insisting' has some implication that this is a good or recommended
    thing to do.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
    ;; Sending your money to someone just because they've erected
    ;; a barrier of obscurity and secrets around the tools you
    ;; need to use your data does not help the economy or spur
    ;; innovation. - Waffle Iron Slashdot, June 16th, 2002
     
  15. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    Tilly wrote:
    >
    > What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    > helmet use when offering cycle training?
    >
    > At present I duck the issue:
    >
    > You will also need to consider insisting that your child wears a
    > helmet during training, especially in the playground where cycling
    > skills are being challenged. However, if a helmet does not fit
    > correctly and I cannot adjust it, your child will not be able to take
    > part in the training if you have requested helmet use.
    >
    > The parents then have three choices:
    >
    > I want my child to wear a helmet: yes, no, up to child.


    I am assuming you are working to the National Standards and are a
    qualified instructor?

    Are you working as an 'Organiser'? If so you should already have
    formulated your policies.
    If as an Instructor working for an Organiser then you will need to
    comply with _their_ policies.

    However I would strongly recommend you look at the National Standard Guidelines.
    There is a lot of good advice.

    This seems to be one of the most important sections where your policy is
    to have a helmet:

    "Remember that overall it is the training and subsequent experience that
    is most likely to contribute towards the clients safe cycling and
    increase in cycle use so you will not want to turn them away. To enable
    the client to continue training have a standard form available that the
    client can sign saying they know about your helmet policy but have opted
    out at their own discretion. For under 18s this form should be
    countersigned by a parent or guardian."

    Secondly the section about badly fitting helmets is relevant,
    particularly the advice on potential claims.

    "Clients cannot be relied upon to arrive with a helmet that is either
    properly fitted or appropriate for their use."

    "A view has been expressed by some that adjusting a helmet leaves the
    Instructor open to claims of liability in the event that a client
    suffers an accident. This has been checked at length with insurers and
    others in the field and it is clear that a competent instructor carrying
    out the duties for which he or she has been trained can be expect to be
    protected by the law in the event of a claim, the importance is in being
    clear of the limits of the service being provided."
    "It would appear that instructors may be at greater risk if they train
    people and do not adequately instruct them in any equipment use, such as helmets."

    "This should include a clear understanding of both what helmets do and
    what they cannot do.
    In particular no instructor should ever suggest that a helmet 'improves
    safety'. If appropriate words are needed then 'can reduce injury in the
    event of an accident' is appropriate, and an emphasis on the client
    maintaining cycling skills and awareness to reduce the risk of accidents
    emphasises the purpose of the training session."

    There is then advice on how to fit a helmet.

    I hope the above helps, but you really need to set your own policy or
    obtain the policy of your 'Organiser' if that is the way you operate.

    Its a brilliant thing to be doing though, and I hope you find it as
    satisfying as I do.

    John B
    (just off to train an adult rider)
    http://www.hampshirecycletraining.org.uk/
     
  16. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    Colin McKenzie wrote:
    >
    > Mark Tranchant wrote:
    > > Tilly wrote:
    > >
    > >> What advice do I give to parents of 10/11 year old children about
    > >> helmet use when offering cycle training?

    > > <snip>

    >
    > If speaking to them, I think you should attempt to dispel their
    > illusions about what helmets can do.


    Quite right.
    I consider that to be the most important point.
    i ALWAYS stress that a helmet has no effect on 'safety' as that is up to
    the rider and how they interact with road conditions and other users.
    This also nicely emphasises the purpose of the training - to develop the
    cycle skills of the rider.

    John B
    http://www.hampshirecycletraining.org.uk/
     
  17. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Colin McKenzie wrote:
    >
    > Then you need some text to point out their limitations. I think it's
    > irresponsible not to provide this, to counterbalance others' opinions
    > that they cure all ills.
    >


    Is there a post ASA text from the CTC that could be handed out?

    Tony
     
  18. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

    > I think what you have to be very careful of is implying there's any
    > safety benefit from wearing a helmet. I would try
    >
    > "You will also need to consider whether you wish your child to wear a
    > helmet during training..."
    >
    > 'insisting' has some implication that this is a good or recommended
    > thing to do.


    As an instructor you may find that it is the policy of the 'client' not
    the rider - particularly if that 'client' is a school.
    In such cases you need to accept that policy to enable training to continue.

    John B
    http://www.hampshirecycletraining.org.uk/
     
  19. On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 09:20:08 +0000, Simon Brooke
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I think what you have to be very careful of is implying there's any
    >safety benefit from wearing a helmet. I would try
    >
    > "You will also need to consider whether you wish your child to wear a
    > helmet during training..."
    >
    >'insisting' has some implication that this is a good or recommended
    >thing to do.


    How about: "If you wish your child to wear a helmet then...", because
    the "need to consider" is externally imposed rather than inherent.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
     
  20. Peter Fox

    Peter Fox Guest

    Following on from Colin McKenzie's message. . .
    >Then you need some text to point out their limitations. I think it's
    >irresponsible not to provide this, to counterbalance others' opinions
    >that they cure all ills.

    Nooooo. Life is too short to get into debates. Simply state you don't
    require a child to wear a helmet (plus the other bits I posted earlier).


    If parents say "why not you irresponsible person" you reply "The
    effectiveness of helmets cannot be understated :) [no that was only a
    bit of fun] "The real effectiveness of helmets is nothing like what
    people believe. The important thing is to get people cycling and know
    how to use the roads safely and enjoyably with all the benefits that
    brings. You can make your own choices - We've made our policy clear."
    End of story.


    Once again: You can soon (and must) get it across to kids (and adults)
    that it is best to avoid any accident than even have a 'small one'.
    They should get a bit of a buzz from being part of the traffic and 'in
    command of the situation' - "Does that driver have to wait for you?" -
    "Yes" - "Why?" "'Cos ..."

    >
    >I like the bit about training being far more effective than lids. I'd
    >want some figures on the effectiveness of training at reducing
    >casualties to back this up, though.

    Here is one way you can see it for yourself. Estimate the number of
    near-misses your untrained students have a year (or any untrained
    cyclist) You see them all the time leaving themselves open to being cut
    up in chicanes, getting left-hooked, being forced into the ditch as cars
    squeeze past, riding on the pavement thinking it is safer and so on.

    Each one of those that turns into a fall/collision that never happens in
    the future 'cos they don't do those dangerous things any more is a 100%
    survivable accident (ie one that never happens) And it protects arms,
    knees etc.!

    Suppose you could spend say £40 on a helmet that lasts 4 years of £40 on
    training that lasts 40 years. (Already 10:1 benefit) now consider the
    effectiveness of each - Easily another factor of 10 there.

    Or look at the stats (I've lost the source - this is off the top of my
    head) You are likely to have a helmet-saving accident once in 1000 years
    of cycling. Now consider how many incidents your untrained cyclists are
    likely to have in that time? 1 every 3 years say or 1 in 30 years
    serious. Get the picture?

    Like you say it would be good to get a better handle on these figures
    but the back of the envelope gives a pretty clear order of magnitude.

    >
    >IMO even the Cycle Training UK form needs tweaking, and they mostly
    >get this issue right.
    >
    >Colin McKenzie


    Just one more point sparked off by another poster. Falls in playgrounds
    are mostly due to collisions/ crashing into obstacles due to kids doing
    their own thing. You shouldn't have anybody doing their own thing - the
    playground is a classroom not a playground (if you see what I mean.)

    --
    PETER FOX Not the same since the deckchair business folded
    [email protected]
    www.eminent.demon.co.uk/wcc.htm Witham Cycling Campaign
    www.eminent.demon.co.uk/rides East Anglian Pub cycle rides
     
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