Does My Daughter Need a Helmet for Long Bike Rides?

Updated on July 02, 2019
B.T. asks from Arlington Heights, IL
24 answers

I relatively new mom, 21 years of age, and I have a 6 year old daughter. My daughter learned how to ride a bike last year and she stopped wearing a helmet this year. I’m wondering if she needs a helmet on long bike rides? She doesn’t need one when she is riding her bike on my driveway or in front of our house when I’m watching her since I’m there close by and my driveway is smooth without bumps. It’s the long bike rides I’m concerned about not wearing a helmet because it’s unfamiliar terrain and there could be bumps and she has a higher chancing of falling on long bike rides since she is riding for longer periods of time. I never have worn a helmet and still don’t so I’m not really sure about how needed helmets are.

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answers from Dallas on

It is a decision up to you. As long as you are ok with the fact that she may end up brain dead, bran damaged or dead then go for it.

You are 21 with a 6 yr old? Take some parenting classes.

I call troll on this post.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

My kids don't ride bikes or scooters without a helmet, I don't care where they are riding. If they get caught riding without a helmet they lose the item (bike or scooter) for the rest of the day. Helmets are always a must.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I would THINK a long bike ride is even MORE of a justification for wearing a helmet than usual, but hey, what do I know?

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Helmet. Every single time she gets on her bike. Every. Single. Time. She. Gets. On. Her. Bike.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Are you the same person who posts this question every year, just under a new account name? If so, you've heard all the answers every time before.

If you're a new mom at 21, and your kid is 6, where did this kid come from and what support/advice have you had from medical people. What parenting classes have you had?

Most police departments require helmets. Why don't you stop in and ask for a brochure on town regulations and ask what the fine is? Most pediatricians ask you about this and consider you negligent if you don't use a helmet. I'm betting this question is asked at her checkups, right after "Do you use sunscreen?" Why don't you ask your doctor to his face, right after you talk to the police officers?

Did you put her in a carseat when she was little, or only on long drives over unfamiliar roads? Do you wear a seatbelt in a car, or only on long trips on unfamiliar roads? Do you wear a seatbelt in a plane, or only on long flights? I mean, after all, you're a good driver and the pilot is experienced, right?

Just because you were unwise as a child doesn't mean you should subject your daughter to the same risks. I think you are ignoring every single bit of medical research and every single pediatric warning. I can't believe you would even consider not having all riders wear a helmet, and I really question whether this post is real. We've seen it too many times before and really, there is no one around who really hasn't heard about helmets. No one.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

By calling yourself a "new mom" with a 6-year-old I am guessing that you mean you are her stepmother, recently getting to know the child? Please remember to let her birth parent do the parenting of things like specific rules that she must follow.

If on the other hand you mean that you gave birth at age 15, I would encourage you to take parenting classes or at least read lots of parenting books.

Helmets should be worn always. "I'm watching her there close by" - how in the world could *that* prevent her from falling and getting a concussion?

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Are you seriously asking why helmets were invented? Traumatic brain biggie.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

She always needs a helmet anytime she's on her bike (your driveway too) and so do you.
Brain damage is forever.
It's a simple matter to wear a helmet.
It's not a matter of unfamiliar areas or bumpy surfaces.
I got a concussion when my sister cut me off when we were racing bikes.
I had to turn short to avoid hitting her, and my bike went over and I landed on the asphalt back of my head first.
I had a huge bump on my head and mom had to closely observe me over several days.
Better to be safe than sorry.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on


Welcome to mamapedia.

You only wear a helmet when you don't want your skull to be cracked open if you should ever take a dump on your bike.

So if you feel that your driveway is safe and she won't bust her skull open on a "smooth and flat surface" then I guess you'll be okay, right??

Realize that on a smooth and flat surface? You won't be able to get there each time she falls or crashes her bike. And yes, she can crack her skull on a smooth, flat surface.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia, B..

I'm confused - did you just become a step-mother or did you have your daughter at age 15 and someone else raise her to this point?

Also - why wouldn't she need a helmet to ride her bike? My kids wear their helmets. We have a friend whose mom felt he didn't need to ride a bike on their own street - it was safe, flat, etc. well, he fell over and hit his head on the curb. He was in the hospital for over a week - two of those days in a coma - It caused some issues to this day. He has trouble with motor skills and mobility.

A small rock can cause a fall. Unless she has training wheels that won't allow her to fall??? She needs to wear a helmet.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

The point of helmet is to protect the head. Believe it or not most accidents happen close to the house.. and honestly not sure what you can do if you are close by. You will ( god forbid) see it but you can not prevent anything. ( catch her before her head hits the ground?! )

So even in the driveway she needs one. Helmets prevents serious injuries ( soften the fall). Anything from concussions to internal hemorrhaging. And I hear it all the time from hubby ( he is a critical care physician.. should have been wearing a helmet)

So yeh she needs it on short, long and everything in between rides!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes she does. My husbands 2nd cousin fell off his bike a few weeks back and hit his head and got a concussion. He is probably at least 12 he and his little brother were riding their bikes in their neighborhood and he fell off and hit is head on the concrete and busted his head open and blacked out for a while and got a concussion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You could just tell her not to fall off her bike and bump her head. Explain to her she could have a TBI that leaves her brain damaged for the rest of her life. I’m sure she’ll be very careful then and you won’t have to watch her in your very safe driveway either.🙄

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

It doesn't matter if you're a new mom, an old mom, with a 6 year old or a 16 year old. Parents need to enforce safety rules. And anyone on a bike needs a helmet, whether they're riding a tricycle on the porch, or in the driveway, or on the road. Brains can't be replaced, and accidents can happen on smooth protected driveways with the mom nearby. A bee could startle her, her shoe could get caught awkwardly on a pedal, she could get distracted by something, and fall before you can do anything to stop it. A scraped knee or elbow will heal. A head injury can be another matter entirely.

But the biggest problem you have is YOU. You have allowed a young child to determine her own safety rules, and you're wishy-washy about what safety is, and you're wondering about how to make a sensible parenting decision. You need a helmet. And some common sense.

If you don't start enforcing safety rules now, what will you do in 9 years when she gets her learner's permit? Will you say "oh, she's just driving down our street, so she doesn't need a seatbelt. She only wears a seatbelt when she's going to drive more than 40 miles away". What will you say when she's online on her computer? "Oh, we don't need to monitor her computer usage or history or what games she's playing because she's home. We only warn her about computer safety when she's at a friend's house". What will you say about hand washing? "She hasn't been playing in the dirt outside so she doesn't need to wash her hands before dinner. You only need to wash your hands before eating if you've been working in the garden". Get it? Rules are rules. Safety is safety.

Now tell her you made a mistake, take her to buy a cute helmet, and tell her she absolutely will not be allowed on her bike without a helmet. If she doesn't wear the helmet, the bike goes away for that day, immediately. If she complains, take her to a fire department and ask them to tell her why helmets are important. Stand your ground now, follow the safety rules, or be prepared for a very chaotic life ahead.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

are you nuts?

why did your daughter STOP wearing a helmet? at 6 years old!

she could crack her skull in your driveway. do you honestly think no kids fall off when the surface is smooth?

you may be stupid enough to never wear a helmet, and no big loss. but it's a pity you're subjecting a young child to your particular brand of stupidity.

there's really no excuse for this.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, she needs to wear a helmet to prevent a brain injury.
You should wear one, too.
It's a must....for matter how long the ride or how close in front of your house.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

This child should wear a helmet any time her butt hits the seat. Doesn't matter if you are "right there" or not.

You should be a role model and go out today and purchase helmets for both of you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Yes! Definitely! I wear a husband wears a helmet...and our kids (daughter age 9 and son age 15) both wear helmets for long AND short bike rides. And the kids wear them for rollerblading and scootering and skateboarding. We also all wear helmets for downhill skiing (our small town has a ski area). Our son really didn't want to wear a helmet this year when ski season started and we said, well then nope, you can't ski. I had him pick out a new larger sized helmet (he has a lot of hair) that is a cooler style...kind of punk, skateboard-y looking. So happily that refusal was short lived. Just make it an absolute rule - no exceptions - and tell your daughter no biking unless she wears her helmet and then stick to it! Good luck. :) PS - A teen kid died a few years ago hear when he had a skateboard crash with no helmet. I've heard of bicyclists getting serious concussions that affect them the rest of their lives. My advice is to be very strict about this and also be a good role model and wear a helmet yourself!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

She needs a helmet on every single time she rides a bike, as do you. Please model appropriate safety for your children, just as you do with seat belts and other safety precautions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't force helmet wearing in the yard. It's fenced in and all grass. No cement patio or anything. But if they leave the fenced in area they have to wear a helmet. Period.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I get it, as a mom of three kids I have neglected in the past, making my kids wear a helmet. I didn't really put a lot of thought into it as I don't let them go out of our neighborhood. However, it don't matter where they go on their bikes. They are to ALWAYS where a helmet. I started getting really strict with my kids about this. It don't matter if my kids are in the driveway of right in front of my house with me walking by their sides while they ride. Other people who are driving can still hit a child on a bike, whether they are right by me or in my driveway.
I don't know about the state you live in, but in my state, it's the law that anyone riding a bike is to wear a helmet.


answers from Seattle on

what the what?
Your driveway has no bumps? Is your driveway HARD? If she falls and her head bounces off your driveway she is still going to get hurt.
You may be watching her, but you will NOT be able to stop her from falling and wacking her head.
Helmets are needed anytime someone is riding a bike. Just because you don't wear them doesn't mean your kids shouldn't.
When we know better we do better. Back in the day, people didn't wear seat belts. Now we know that they save lives, so we do. We also jknow that helmets prevent brain injuries. So we SHOULD be wearing them.



answers from Chicago on

Helmets are needed, period. Ask any doctor or nurse who works in an ER about the head injuries they see from bike accidents. It doesn't matter if you are close by or how smooth your driveway is.

Since you haven't been wearing one, you can be super excited to let her know how happy you are to have learned about this, and take her to the bike store with you to pick out helmets for you and for her. Maybe she would enjoy having matching helmets? Neither one of you should ever ride a bike again without a helmet.

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