August 24, 2005

The ThudGuard Makes Me More Worried About The Kid's Inherited Brainpower

thudguard.jpgWhile the DOC Band of plagiocephalic fame looks awesome [AND serves a legitimate, even crucial purpose AND is decorateable] the ThudGuard helmet is none of these things, far from it.

Invented by a Scottish mom "to help absorb and reduce the impact of head injuries due to a fall or collision"--the kind of falls that, are "very common in even the safest of homes and gardens," and occur because a child is "learning to walk in a world of hard surfaces"--the Thudguard is the pathetic embodiment of a parent's sincere, but utterly misplaced, futile desire to put their kid in a bubble [the not coincidental design motif of the ThudGuard site].

There are two situations where an infant's melon--already an excellently designed, resilient protection device for protecting a kid's brain, thanks be to God and evolution, if you ask me--can benefit from a ThudGuard's extra, extra, extra protection:

1) If the kid is in an environment where oafish parents or out-of-control, older siblings throw a lot of things at his head, like, say, blocks or beer cans
In a hopeless loser environment like this, every scarce, inherited IQ point must be protected at all costs if the child is to become a minimally functional member of society someday.

2) If you leave the kid at home alone while you go out to a cafe, the pub, to run a few errands, or to have a quick cabertoss with your mates
The ThudGuard: sign of American-scale (read: near-pathological), parental over-protectiveness? Or unspoken but secrectly welcome facilitator of European parents' unacknowledged propensity for leaving their kids alone at home?

The ThudGuard is available in "Baby Blue (Boy)" or "Lovely Lilac (Girl)," and it will cost you ú29.99, plus ú2.50 Postage & Packaging, plus any credibility I would ever be inclined to give you on parenting matters, ever. [albyn, via gizmodo and Because I'm Your Father]


Or it could be useful if your son has a disorder such as hemophilia and needs a helmet to prevent life threatening subdural bleeds while learning to walk. As mine does. At least this one looks fun and isn't girly.

[Even the purple one doesn't seem girly. Thanks for pointing out an actual case where this could be useful. It made me sad thinking that Scottish mom burned 7 years on her invention with no real potential benefit. -ed.]

I'm waiting for Babies-r-us to start carrying closed-cell foam slip covers for all common household furnishings.

The first sign of the apocalypse brought to us by what my wife and I "fondly" refer to as the 10th circle of hell...

These are great!!! I was going to send the link to you when I saw them on Gizmodo, but you beat me to it. Blasted time difference. 4 weeks of walking later and a bruise or cut in every picture since, ahh how usefull these helmets could be. Can somebody write to government and make these mandatory until age 18? [they do claim to "promote early helmet wearing habits." -ed.]

Nature and parents combined are obviously not adequatly equipped to handle with any falls. Actually I've been wondering for some time now how long it would be before somebody would introduce this product. Now it's only a matter of weeks (until I file my patent) before you will be able to enjoy a specialized helmet for your kid's rides in the car, because, well, come on! You really believe those carseats couldn't benefit from a bit of extra head protection?

They would also come in very handy during the binge drinking days of college. [actually, this makes more sense to me, the cases where you're not protecting vainly against some unknown, but are in a situation where you're really likely to smack your head. -ed.]

...can't wait until the ad folks get a hold of these things: "Hey, I get $400 a week if Jr. wears his 'Coors Light' helmet to day care!"

Again, did someone mention secondary usage during college? Perhaps the beer companies can start funding scholarships through helmet ad licensing.

Yep, walk with me into the 12th circle...

Also, do these things expand, or is it some new form of foot binding? Jr. just HAS to have a perfect head, you know.

This isn't a completely modern concept... [they used to call them pudding caps]

You could argue that we're collectively raising a generation of wusses. There are also designs for headbands and helmets for soccer, of all sports. Never mind that the sport wreaks more havoc on the knees than on anything else.

On the other hand, we can never be too careful, lest little Dakota, Madeline or Tyler barrel into the bathroom sink head first and end up wearing one of these as an adult.


[this site is a Britany-fetus-free zone, Ed. -em]

I was going to post something funny but my pregnant wife has just hit me on the back of the head and said "we are getting one"!

[too bad they don't come in adult sizes. -ed.]

Got one - LOVE IT!

Come on's for the kids!

I work in a children's accident & emergency department in a leading UK hospital and if you could see the amount of babies we see every year with split heads you would not make such silly unresearched remarks!

We work along with the Thudguard which was invented in the UK and we display the Thudguard "Head Injury Advice" poster which has been kindly written by Aberdeen Royal Children's Hospital and given FREE to the other UK hospitals. It gives valuable and life saving advice to parents. We also have a sample of the product and we all agree in this department that it is a product worth supporting!

there's a world of difference between a posterful of safety advice from emergency room doctors and encasing your kid's head in a foam bubble, J. I'm all for the former, and extremely skeptical of the latter.

I didn't mention the ThudGuard site's repeated, macro-level emphasis on reducing the workload and visits to UK emergency rooms. I'm sorry, but managing your ER load or the NHS isn't my concern; raising my own kid is. I'm sure there'd be a lot fewer split heads if you made rugby players wear helmets, or if you banned rugby altogether. As for my lack of research, I'll be happy to revisit the issue when a purported safety device has some actual research results behind it and not just warm platitudes of support from the knot off ambulance drivers smoking out back.

Ultimately, I think the biggest problem with the ThudGuard--besides the folly that we CAN protect our children in a bubble--is that they will breed parental complacency and give parents more license to ignore their kids. If you see an uptick in the number of helmet-wearing kids who toddled into the street and got hit by a car, be sure to let me know.

If you think the Thudguard is really out there... remember how we laughed at the bicycle helmet but wait a minute...Check out these other kids walking helmets -

The Thudguard does'nt seem so funny NOW!

It's for the kids right?

["HEAD BUMPA˘ is distributed worldwide through normal postal methods..." -ed.]

I saw this blog about the thudguard the other day and had to copy you on it -

"Oh God! It's offical - the wife said we have to get a FudGuard now!!! Or was it ThudGuard? Perhaps if we had a FudGuard in the first place we would'nt need a ThudGuard for the little shit!"


[lol. url? I love that someone takes time to blog about hating on his kid, too. -ed.]

To Greg,
Some good valid points there but don't you think if the kids could toddle on to the road by themselves, that they would'nt need the thudguard then? It's for babies JUST learning to pull themselves up to standing position and then learning to walk without falling. This is a stage that can take only a few months but they would'nt need the helmet after that if they are more sure footed. So if they end up on the road - perhaps we should look more closely at the parents who are neglectful and not to the parents who care enough in the first place to protect their 9 month old babies head from being cracked open dont you think?

Shona Halsall - Children's Playgroup Leader

Regarding the Thudguard helmet for babies, I just purchased a thudguard for my 9 1/2 month old baby and within minutes of wearing it he started to overheat and sweat and his face was already turning red. The house temperature was 72 degrees and he wasn't even wearing a shirt. This helmet seems too warm for anyone to be wearing unless they are undressed outside in the snow. He also HATED the strap which tended to slip up on his face and ironically make him look like one of those British guards. I honestly think he would have been better off with a pair of elastic shorts on his head lined with a burp cloth because it would actually stay on his head and he'd be much cooler and more comfortable. Also, when my son was wearing the Thudguard I had a tendency to let my guard down and I could see how this could actually lead to more serious accidents in the end. He ended up bonking his head anyway at a time when I wouldn't have had his helmet on, so there's no way to always have the helmet on when your baby will need it! I highly do not recommend this product!!

It's a helmet for goodness sake! Don't overrate it by taking it too the extreme of bashing parents who want to protect their babies. What is the difference compared to bike helmets? Would you call your child a wuss for wearing a bike helmet or would you commend him for being a tough kid when he is in the ER with his head bashed in? Hmmmmm, tough one! Thudguard is not nurturing "lazy" parents, it is preventing head injuries which DO occur in the early stages of walking and being independently mobile. I am nearly attached to the hip with my little one, yet he has had numerous head bumps and has been to the ER once for a severe fall. My husband is a Physicain and he agrees how head bumps if they are hard enough and occur too often can be detrimental. No matter how closely you watch your child, they are only a few feet off the ground. Takes but a few seconds to hit a hard surface. Perhaps the ignorant people who make such rude comments should have had their heads protected when they were younger to salvage the compassionate part of their brain!

To those who left positive remarks...kudos

To those who are bashing this so strongly and don't care enough to spare their child a little pain during the learning curve of walking....shame on you!

I mean...where does it stop??? Why give them shoes??? Make them walk barefoot!!! You people are ridiculous and to blame it on bad must not have children, lest you'd know you can not always be right there in the split second it takes for them to slip, trip, fall, or stumble and injure themselves. Maybe that's the problem!!! You didn't have a Thudguard and injured your own brain and therefore can not comprehend this concept!! Yes, that's it.....I understand!!!

My son has ITP which means he has low platelets in his blood and could sustain serious brain damage from even the slightest fall. I'm buying it.

Good. Unless your pediatrician has some more specific recommendations for a helmet with some kind of tested/certified performance standards, of course. I haven't seen any medical claims--or any clinical test results--for the ThudGard.

The author of this blog post is proof that even with billions of monkeys typing, good articles are still hard to come by.

Obviously you're not a statistician. It's even questionable if you passed your arithmetic class.

Think of it this way. The learning-to-walk years are the ones during which the likelihood of head injuries for kids are greatest, by far. I'm not saying a kid has to wear a helmet their whole life and live in a bubble. Yes, they will bump their heads later in life too. But NOT NEARLY AS OFTEN AS WHEN THEY'RE JUST LEARNING TO WALK, dumbass.

If you can easily prevent the most common danger, then shut the hell up, work your second job if you have to to earn that extra $40, and buy the damn helmet.

It's the same reason we wear seat belts in cars, but not when we're sitting at a desk in an office. Cause in a car is when seat belts run the highest chance of doing a lot of good. And it's the same reason adults wear helmets when riding their bike, but not when walking. Well, for infants learning to walk, walking is about as dangerous as riding a bike is for adults.

Now chew on that for a while, and let us know if a light bulb goes on.

I'm just surprised it's taken us this long to come up with this simple yet very effective risk mitigation idea for an infant's walking years.

My gorgeous grandson (8 months old) will probably get one of these as he has a movement and balance disorder and if and when he gets round to walking will no doubt incur several whacks - not so good when he has a minor form of epilepsy. So shut up all you sceptics, these helmets seem like commonsense to me. Also as ex A&E nurse Ive seen enough cracked baby heads to last a lifetime. The funniest one (shame on me) was the baby who rolled off the changing mat, whacked her head on the unit on the way down and when she hit the floor! 2 bruises - referred to social services!!! LOL

Can someone with 2-3 babies, who recently bought this device for their own - say a few words as far as the difference?

I mean this blog is supposed to help us decide, and here we are reading a bunch of crap left by some hater who thinks any type of safety - is evil and is immediately qualifies for a bubble upbringing.

I have one and love it! I agree that we used to laugh about putting helmets on our kids when riding their bikes!

Why not I ask, especially on ceramic and hardwood floors, that is why I purchased mine!

Regarding the overheating, it is true that you need to leave it on for short periods of time and also put it on when your toddler is distracted .\
Without a doube I RECOMMEND this product to any parents who has gone through the prewalking stage.

By all means parental supervision is still necessary.


Our baby's head became so overheated wearing this thing that she had a fit and had to be hospitalised. Our friends also purchased it and it caused a terrible rash on their child's scalp, presumably from the cheap and nasty dyes they use to make it.

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