because, as far as I know, whitewater helmets have not been developed for very small children.
We never even looked for ww helmets for carrying our kids in our tandem canoe, because we never exceeded class 2+ rapids while taking them along. And those were rapids we knew very well and felt confident of running without difficulty.
I don't agree with the blanket rejection of bicycle helmets for small children. A bike helmet that has only a closed cell foam liner, and that fits well, is good enough for anything small kids should be doing. Cavorting on rocky riverbanks is probably more of a danger to their heads than mishaps on the water.
2-3 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
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