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trailers and young children(11 posts)

trailers and young childrenkilimanjaro
Aug 22, 2002 10:59 AM
I am comteplating getting a trailer so I can take my 4 yr and 1 yr old on some short rides around the neighborhood. This way I can spend some time on the bike and with the kids. A friend mentioned that there are some concerns with bike trailers and young children but was not specific.

Any board members have experience or can point me to some article links? Thanks in advance

By the way, both child will wear helmets on the ride.
re: trailers and young childrenjhr
Aug 22, 2002 12:30 PM
I pulled my two kids in a Burley Bravo for about 2years and never had any problems (other than quads that wanted to explode). Still I don't recommend you take it on your regular training routes, but around the neighborhood it works great. Both kids often fell asleep in the back. They really enjoyed it. Unfortunately they have outgrown it (collectively not individually)(they are 5.5 and 2.5 years old). I suggest you take them with you when you shop for a trailer to determine fit issues (ie you don't want to spend a lot of money on something you only get to use twice because your kids get to big).

Hope the information is helpful.

re: trailers and young childrenKing Henry
Aug 22, 2002 1:00 PM
The biggest danger, and your biggest fear, is that a car takes out the trailer. Short of leaving the kids behind, your defenses are pretty limited: be extra paranoid and cautious, use lots of reflective material and lights, always use the lovely orange flag, always use helmets and don't go out at night. My experience has been that drivers are extraordinarily cautious and polite when we tow our kids (I pull our son on a trailer bike and my wife pulls our daughter in a Trek trailer), but you never can tell. Ultimately, if you can't handle the wild card of the inattentive or reckless driver, don't take your kids.

If your primary concern is flipping the trailer, just watch where you are going. We've never had any problems, but you always hear stories to the contrary (which may be urban legends, but scare you a little nonetheless).

Bottom line, we absolutely love taking the kids along. It brings us all closer together, is decent workout for me and my wife, and my son is, at least for now, crazy about bikes. After reading innumerable posts about family problems stemming from overiding, I really appreciate getting home and having the entire family almost immediately ask whether we can go for a bike ride.
only concerns would be a kid younger than 1ColnagoFE
Aug 22, 2002 1:06 PM
they can't support their necks yet and the jarring can be bad for them. ask your pediatrician if you have any doubts.
only concerns would be a kid younger than 1outofthesaddle
Aug 22, 2002 1:26 PM
I have a Burly (the two kid model) which I have used for both of my boys. A family friend who is a doctor made the same suggestion as ColnagoFE -- wait until at the kid is least one year old -- and for the same reason. The internal jarring of the head/brain is bad for kids under one. He said it was not a problem after that.
It's called "shaken baby syndrome"....Alexx
Aug 22, 2002 2:29 PM
and it is often fatal, sometimes only leading to serious brain damage. Around here, if a child comes to the ER with this, the parents usually leave the hospital wearing chrome bracelets.
It's called "shaken baby syndrome"....kilimanjaro
Aug 22, 2002 4:21 PM
My daugther will be turning on Sept 11. She is on the pettite and light side. I will ask the pediatrician.

Thanks for all the feedback

Use a car seatKerry
Aug 22, 2002 4:53 PM
We started hauling our kids in the trailer when they were 3 months old. We strapped them in the car seat, and then strapped the car seat in the trailer. Between the spring in the tires, the padding in the car seat, and the car seat stabilizing their heads, there was never a problem. Both were A students in high school, so there seems to have been no long term effects. I would guess that each of them did 10K + miles in the trailer.
re: trailers and young childrenpben
Aug 22, 2002 2:29 PM
I have a Trek model that hold two children. I ride my son and nephew around all the time and they love it. With the model I have there is no fear of tipping it over because of the way the attach mechanism works. If the bike falls over, nothing happens to the trailer. Also, there is a HUGE storage compartment in the rear that we load up our stuff and take off. I went as far as buying a beater just for the trailer. I prefer the trailer over the carry-on seat - if you fall over on that thing, good luck to your kid.
Trailer thoughts from a Pediatricianjtlmd
Aug 22, 2002 6:52 PM
I think it is a fine idea to ride with young children in the trailer. However, you need to find a helmet that fits appropriately. In addition, the child needs to be able to sit up and support his head well enough to fit the safety straps in the trailer as well as be able to control his body well enough to handle the jostling that occurs. I've heard of people placing the infant seat in the trailer. I'm not so sure about this. It needs to be as well secured in the trailer as it would be in your car and I don't beleive the safety belts in the trailer are designed for that. Otherwise you would be risking the child's safety.
With my first child I didn't feel comfortable about his safety in the trailer until he was about a year old. I don't feel that most children have the neuromuscular development to safely travel in the trailer until about one year of age, or the age in which they can use a forward facing toddler car seat. Remember that even if you are as careful as possible there is always a chance of an accident at speed. (I easily travel 15-20 MPH on flat roads pulling the trailer and faster on downhills)

Pulling the extra weight of the trailer is a great workout.

The kind of shaking that a child experiences in a trailer is nothing like the violent shaking that can cause shaken baby syndrome. I don't think you should worry about it. I am a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician who is quite familiar with child abuse and shaken infants. I've never heard of a report of a child sustaining such injuries from a normal trailer ride. What people don't realize is that shaken baby syndrome is caused by an extremely intense violent shaking of a young child by a full grown adult that is not even closely approached by the mild rocking in a trailer.

Your children are of perfectly appropriate ages to be placed in a trailer.

Have fun.
where is a good place to buy from?pukka
Aug 23, 2002 9:45 AM