His maternal grandmother recently got him, for mother's day (yeah, his mom and her mother basically spoil him when they have him so he gets gifts for everything), a battery powered 4-wheeler toy.
We were sent a couple of photos of him smiling while sitting on this thing that has him a good foot and a half off the ground, with no helmet on. He gushes about his new toy, and I don't blame him I would have loved something like that when I was 5. According to him it has 2 speeds, slow and fast. Fast he says is faster than he can run and that he thinks it goes faster than I can run. Said that his mom and "Memaw" couldn't keep up with it when it was on fast. They allowed him to ride it in the street and to the park.
My husband I are fine with him having this toy while there, but we feel like he should have a helmet on, especially if he is being allowed to ride it in the street (in a residential neighborhood). His mother says it is "none of our business."
So, I want to get a consensus from people who do not personally know us or our kid. What do you think? Should he be wearing a helmet or is it okay to forgo it?
You might want to check with local authorities.
Anything with wheels requires a helmet. It's that simple. Does he risk getting a head injury if he crashes it? Probably not. But it's very important to build the habit of popping on a helmet anytime he "rides" something.
I did this with my kids, and my son did have a Powerwheels his looked like a tiny dune buggy, with a roll cage, and they (my two and my nieces) were expected to wear helmets when playing with it, just like when they rollerbladed, rode scooters, and bikes. Now that they are 20-15 they ride the four wheelers on our property with helmets, and I never have to remind them. It's just done. When a friend comes over they may give a strange look when they are told to put a helmet on to ride, but that's the rules and it's nonnegotiable.
I would talk to him, he's 5 right? He should be encouraged to wear it when he rides it. If he doesn't have a helmet at that house I would go ahead and purchase one to be left there.
We're also cyclists, and know too well the consequences of not wearing e helmet.
When I was six years old, I had just learned to ride my bicycle without training wheels. Now back in those day, over forty years ago, we didn't wear helmets, never heard of them. I rode my bike down our street and fell off hitting my head on the curb. I WAS OUT COLD! My mother saw me in the street and carried me into the house, called the doctor, not 911, he instructed her to try and wake me every fifteen minutes until HE got there.
I survived. I have no recollection of the event at all. Unfortunately I have no recollection of my life before I was six except a few scattered memories. I look at pictures, especially at Christmas or my birthday, they mean nothing to me. They are just pictures.
Get a helmet, get two, one for your place and one for mom's place. Let her know that the child HAS to wear it. I don't know where you are but in the states it's law. But more importantly it's for his safety and life.
I kind of expected this response but still figured I'd just check with others to make sure we weren't being nervous nellies about this.
I am a child of the 80s so helmets were not a thing when I was a kid. I did some crazy things on my bike, and also was nearly hit by an old man who just flat out didn't see me (in my dayglo neon pink and green wear, at that. Shocking!) When I think about that car, it gives me the willies because I would have bounced my head off his hood at the very least.
So, we are going ahead with the insistence that proof of helmet be provided before his next visit otherwise, we'll take him shopping for one. We try and let him pick out things like that so he is more inclined to wear it.