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rbibber

USA
411 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  4:07:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If there is anyone out there who thinks they don't need to put a helmet on their kids read this!

This past weekend I took my 10 yr old son Dustin out for some tandem sledding. I wanted to give him some practice on the runners before his first junior class race next month. We were using 7 of our slower dogs - some of which were on my 6-dog pro team last year. The sleds were arranged in tandem, with a line going from the gangline, under my sled and between my legs, to Dustin's sled. The trail was 4 miles long with a large recangular loop and 3 90 degree turns to the right and one to the left. Most of the turns were nice and wide, but one was sharper than I had thought. The dogs cut the turn on the inside and accellerated out of the turn. I had both feet dragging trying to slow them down (couln't use the drag mat thanks to the rope to the second sled). Dustin's sled whipped around suddenly like the tip of a whip and he went sailing headfirst into the snow on the side of the trail. I looked back and he wasn't moving. I hooked down the dogs and ran to him. He was ok but there was a large scratch on the top of his helmet where it hit a rock under the snow. That helmet probably saved his life.

Rob Bibber
Vassalboro, Maine

Admin

USA
1484 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  6:01:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I always found riding the whip sled an adventure, sometimes a disaster!

While we're talking about helmets, I'm looking for some input on the best type of helmet for youngsters running their own teams.

What recommendations does anyone have for youth helmets?

Judy Bergemann
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Sledkids

Canada
236 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  6:13:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We recently bought a snow helmet for our son. The kind that snowboarders wear. It has earflaps but he can still hear through them well. It took LOTS of trying on at the sports shop! He's 11 and we ended up getting him a adult small Pro Tec snow helmet. That way he can wear goggles if he needs to. He likes it.

ps. I'm very glad that Dustin is ok. :)

Tracey :)
abundantacres.ca
Nimpo Lake, BC

Edited by - Sledkids on 12/18/2007 6:14:14 PM
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Cliff Maxfield

USA
2631 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  6:18:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Admin - We've found that good but inexpensive bicycle helmets are suitable. Dogsledding by nature is very similar to bicycling when you consider speed and the probability of impact against a solid object. Most helmets come with added padding and they can be fit to accomodate a winter hat.
Even if you buy the most expensive bike helmet on the market - read the small print. The manufacturer recomends anytime the helmet gets impacted it has served it's usefulness and should be discarded. Helmets are still one product that undergo rigorous testing.
Kids like to look cool- and there are many really neat helmets on the market but they all must meet basic criteria.
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Jerry S

USA
270 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  6:36:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jerry S's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kids and for that matter everyone, Helmets are cool. My daughter Rachael always wears one when she is training or racing in a new area. In the 2005 Iditarod she took a barrel role in the Dalzell Gorge coming to rest by smacking the back of her helmet (not her skull) on a rock. Now she wears full moto-cross gear down the steps, through the Gorge and in the Buffalo Tunnels. I think it is not only very cool but also very smart. When she gets to McGrath she sends it all home, everything except the helmet.
Jerry
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Dillon_Husky

USA
121 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  7:17:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dillon_Husky's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I prefer the motocross/dirt racing helmets. I like the full facemask to pretect against any knocks to the front of the face. So far I haven't done training with sled, but on a scooter going 15 mph, it's not fun to think what can happen if you're not wearing a helmet and you fall.

Dillon
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mbeers

USA
617 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  8:16:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After watching a 33 yr old friend try to recover from a head injury and 2 yrs later not being able to talk or write or remember what happened 10 min ago, I'm a new convert to helmets.

I use a snowboard helmet. I still get cold in it though even with a balaclava under it.

So it's great to hear what others are using.




Melissa
Sibertopia Sled Pets
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MegC

USA
1321 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  8:29:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've used a bike helmet for years, mostly as a 'light mount' since I use a cycling light. They are light, comfortable, and you can pick a certified model up cheaply at places like Costco.

I always wear one on the scooter since it's fast and nuts... haven't worn one while running on snow except at night when I needed the light. But maybe it's time to reconsider. Years ago a helmet saved my life when a suicidal cat crossed in front of me while doing at least 30mph on a mountain bike. I was in the ER until 1AM getting extensive road rash cleaned up and an elbow stitched... but the chunk of foam barely hanging in the back of the lid after bouncing on pavement with my head in it was testimony that the evening could have turned out MUCH worse.

While we're at it: Everyone needs eye protection also. On the Cascade Quest eons ago I had a chunk of ice fly up into my eye and it took at least a week for the 'star effect' to go away, especially when looking at lights at night. These days I don't run dogs without either sunglasses or those super cheap clear safety glasses from the hardware store.
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musher6

USA
191 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  9:43:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit musher6's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i never used one and decided i had better start now with a 6 dog team and only being 15 so i had a hockey helmet from when i played (it was one of the nice ones, though im sure they have better ones since 4 years ago) but all i did was make it a little larger to it fit snugly over my hat and it was really nice the mask kept crap out of my face and it fit well and it straps on well and easy to take on and off and sorta nice to be able to lift the mask to get it out of the way but leave the helmet on!

ps. glad everyone is alright! and lesson learned!

look at those doggies go!!!
http://www.littlewolfkennels.com
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EllieRose

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  9:54:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit EllieRose's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Never used to wear a helmet either. After deciding to adventure into dryland racing this year I had to get one. I used it in the race and doing some training to get used to it. Three weeks ago out with a yearling bikejoring I went over the handlbars. I had the wind knocked out of me and scraped my knee. After catching my breath we headed home. It wasn't until two days later when I was heading out for a run and grabbed my helmet that I found the big crack in it. Sure makes you think what could have happened with out it. I haven't been out with a bike since- have to replace the helmet first (and it snowed). I haven't decided on a helmet for running the sled but it is definetly something I've put more emphasis on it as I prep for snow runs.

www.freewebs.com/briarlea
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Admin

USA
1484 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  10:41:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Do the snowboarding helmets have holes on the side or are they completely closed?

There was some concern that branches/sticks might find their way through various openings in the helmet.

Appreciate all the input.

Judy Bergemann
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Dori

USA
765 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  10:45:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dori's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My grandsons live in their bike helmets in the summer, but come winter they stop using them as they couldn't get a hat under them. Every time I watch them slide down a sledding hill I cringe. So, for Christmas this year they are getting winter helmets. I think they are ski or snowboard helmets, but they have insulation around their ears. They will also use them when dog sledding.

www.freewebs.com/dorihollingsworth
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Woofy

USA
658 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2007 :  10:51:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Woofy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
THe holes in the sides of the snowboarding helmets depend on what one you pick. There's tons of designs and such. I have one, and I have a bike helmet for bikejouring. I also wear knee and elbow pads, and lately biking gloves when I bikejour. Haven't actually sledded yet...

"Sailor Girl Sled Dog Kennel"
www.freewebs.com/sailorgirlkennel
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rbibber

USA
411 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2007 :  08:40:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My son has a Pryme ski helmet with goggles.

The problem with bicycle helmets is that they don't keep your head warm and you really can't wear a hat under them. The ski helmets were designed to be worn in winter and have insulated earflaps.

I wear eye protection myself. Ski goggles in the winter and atv goggles in the fall. Took one too many ice-balls to the eye.


Rob Bibber
Vassalboro, Maine
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onehappyautumn

USA
79 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2007 :  09:33:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit onehappyautumn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have very mixed feelings about helmets.

Working in a nursing home years ago I saw a woman who was hit by a drunk driver. She was on her bike. Her helmet shattered and took out a good portion of her left frontal lobe. She was alive in her body but unable to do anything but focus on you with her eyes and cry.

I threw my helmet away that day. I would rather die then live like that.

Seven years ago I had a surgery go wrong that left me with nerve damage in my left hip. During my recovery period I chose to wear the helmet again while on the bike given that I had the tendence to fall off at the least little bump.

Now that I am almost completly recovered I haven't been wearing the helmet.

I know helmet technology has come a long, long way. But the image of the woman staring at me and crying is burned in my brain. That is my biggest fear - ending up like that. When I had my first cart experience with the dogs and I thought we were going to wreck I did think to myself - probably should be wearing a helmet for this one...

I think about wearing a helmet often... but it terrifies me as well.

While I choose not to wear one, due to my own personal demons, I do believe kids should with their softer skulls. Adults are free to choose.

"In a dog eat dog world, it is the dogmatic domain of dog lovers to offer dogdom a dogs chance to rise above the dog days for a doggone good time." ~ AKC Gazette
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GA Musher

36 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2007 :  09:51:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit GA Musher's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I always wear a skateboarding helmet when I go dryland mushing. If I'm on a scooter, I wear knee and elbow pads (also designed for use with skateboards). Those knee pads are great - there are some pretty bad scrapes on them that I am very glad are there and NOT on my knees!


"Dog & Sled" - http://www.dx4solutions.com/dogandsled/
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