Friday, August 26th, 2005
Pudding Caps, Then and Now
My mother dropped me on my head when I was a toddler. She plopped me down on a baby bicycle seat and rode off without strapping me down. Ouch! My poor pudding head!
In the 18th century toddlers sometimes wore padding wrapped around their torso â€“ referred to as pudding â€“ to protect from falls. Similarly padded head protection was called a pudding cap, and was worn when learning to walk. As everyone knew back then, if you fell on your head too many times, your brain would be become soft, making you a "pudding head."
- Full description of pudding caps
- Example of a pudding cap in a 1739 painting by Jean SimÃ©on Chardin
- Diagram of a pudding cap
- Photo of a quilted 18th century pudding cap
Fast forward to today. Worrisome parents have many head protection options:
- Canada’s Bumper Bonnet – looks like it could double as a sun visor (it’s made by Jolly Jumper, but sold in America through One Step Ahead).
- Canada’s Baby No Bumps Safety Helmet – one-size-fits-all thanks to Velcro.
- Australia’s Head Bumpa – available in pink, blue and lemon.
- The United Kingdom’s Thud Guard – the closest to a bicycle helmet you’ll find.
- Thumper Bumper – Yay, California checks in with a "protective safety hat" for kids and adults.