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Bike helmets: a no-brainer

I don’t usually get preachy here, but this is important, so bear with me a for a minute. Last week, my friend stopped by to take the kids out for a bike ride – his son is close friends with my oldest daughter. I was appalled to see that, while his son was outfitted in a helmet, my friend was not. I asked him about it, and he gave me a sheepish grin and a shrug.

True, in Massachusetts, the law requires children under 16 to wear a helmet while riding a bike. But after that, it’s optional.

But let’s put the law aside and address the common sense. Using a helmet cuts the risk of a head injury by up to 85%, according to estimates. When you ride without a helmet, you are 14 times more likely to sustain a head injury or fatality. Why wouldn’t anyone wear a helmet?

In my house, if a kid is playing on something with wheels, a helmet is non-negotiable. And I want it to be non-negotiable whether they’re 6, 16 or 66 years old. So helmets are non-negotiable for me and my husband, too.

At Magic Beans, we recently brought in Little Nutty Helmets, by Nutcase. We fell in love with them because the designs are so much fun that no kid would complain about wearing one. But they have a lot of other advantages beyond their good looks.

The retro shape makes these helmets appropriate for a range of different sports, so if your kids go back and forth between a scooter or skateboard and a bike (like mine often do), this helmet has them covered for all of the above.

The helmets are very well-constructed, with an injection-molded ABS shell padded inside with EPS foam. Each helmet has 8 different vents to keep little heads cool. The helmets also adjust to fit heads between 46-52cm simply by turning a dial on the back. This should accommodate kids from toddlers to about 5 years of age.

Whichever helmet you choose, the most important thing is to be uncompromising about its use, both for yourself and your kids.


  1. I completely agree with you. My husband and I always wear helmets when we go bike riding with our son. My biggest pet peeve is seeing kids on bikes, razors, skateboards and they’re not wearing a helmet. We see a lot of parents too that don’t wear them when we drive around.

  2. Arthur van Leeuwen

    In the USA, I can see the need for bicycle helmets. In e.g. the Netherlands… not so much. There are so many bicycles on the roads here and there are so many bike paths that cycling is not really dangerous enough to warrant the helmet. The main use would be in accidents with people falling off bicycles, rather than in cases of collisions.

    Oh, it helps that in the case of a collision of a car with a bicycle, the driver of the car is accountable for all damages, by law. Makes drivers much more reasonable. 🙂

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