Life in a Bubble

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Posted in category Safety Obsession

I am writing an article on the obsession with helmet safety and the culture of fear, and I came across this abomination – Thudguard. This product is the forever helmet for babies that is described as a “½ inch thick impact tested protective foam hat is designed to help absorb and reduce the impact of falls from a child’s own height and lessen the chance of head injury when infants are learning to walk.”

The product is also described as something used for getting children in the helmet wearing mode while young, hence influencing their later lifestyle. As if the product isn’t absurd enough, here are the warnings for helicopter parents:

Important information to remember about the Thudguard® Infant Safety Hat – strategically placed ventilation holes to allow heat out but REMEMBER wearing any headgear can become hot and uncomfortable after too long.  Adults know when a helmet makes them too hot but a child DOES NOT! – Please check constantly.

It is the parent’s responsibility to monitor for overheating – especially in very hot weather. NEVER allow a child to sleep with the hat on. Make sure children get plenty of fluids. Water is best before, during and after prolonged activity. Encourage a “cooling-off” time in the shade if possible.

Do not use if child is unwell, running a temperature / fever. Thudguard is NOT an equestrian or cycle helmet and cannot offer the same protection. Thudguard can only reduce the severity of bumps & bruising.

WARNING:  THUDGUARD® IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD PARENT OR CARER SUPERVISION. CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE. CLIMBING CAN CAUSE CHIN STRAP SNAGGING. HEADGEAR VENTILATION SLITS LEAVE SOME AREA OF THE HEAD EXPOSED. THUDGUARD® IS NOT SUITABLE FOR PEDAL CYCLISTS, SKATEBOARDERS AND ROLLERSKATERS.  PLEASE DO NOT USE IF ALLERGIC TO SYNTHETIC MATERIALS.

 

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3 Responses to Life in a Bubble

  1. mindy says:

    April 15th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Ahh yes, gravity can be a cruel mistress. I happen to be the mother of a 2 year old and a 13 month old who is just learning to walk. Putting a “retard” helmet on your toddler is in fact retarding. Pain, like failure, is a learning tool. I love my baby gates and cupboard latches but I don’t always intervene when I see one of my kids about to fall off the couch out of carelessness or rough housing. Bruises are normal for toddlers, not a sign of parental neglect (not all the time anyway). And guess what…the next time the kid is on the couch he slides off backwards on his own. My oldest puts his finger through the chicken wire and a rooster pecks him? Suddenly he starts thinking about his actions first. Amazing how trial and error works even for kids.

  2. Michelle says:

    April 15th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Unbelievable! Next they’ll just have bubbles for kids to wear 24/7.

    I am a mother of 3 boys; when they did something precarious, I didn’t tell them no, I only said “be careful” in a way that let them know they could be in danger. They are now adults and none had any head injuries. They only wore helmets to play roller hockey and the usual batting helmet.

    With one of these Thudguards, I would be worried that my child wouldn’t learn to fall well or walk well since falling has no consequence. Children need to learn that falling hurts and it’s better to learn while they are 25-30 inches tall.

    If you observe children, after a couple falling experiences, you will notice that they strain their neck to prevent hitting it, or learn to fall on their bum which is conveniently padded. (If a child is a climber, they need to be distracted to do something else.)

    Learning that things hurt is part of learning to live.

  3. Scott says:

    April 25th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I actually had a nephew who was forced to wear a more rugged helmet during his younger years due to a misshapen head. Not an uncommon thing, but this helmet removed the flatspot on the back of his head. He was a normal boy, rough, liked to bang in to things, and this helmet unwittingly created another situation. He would purposely bang his head in to things and use it kind of a battering ram….it didn’t hurt so why not. Well, when the “therapy” was complete, and he was no longer wearing the helment, his behavior didn’t change. So it took a few trips to the ER and 20 or so stitches before he realized that the lack of pain he felt when slamming in to things was temporary. This Thudguard will create the same behavior.

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