Bicycle Helmets

Helmets provide the best protection against head and brain injury, whether your child is riding a bike, scooter or skateboard, or using skates. However, a helmet will only protect when it fits well.  Help your child get in the habit of wearing a helmet by starting when they’re young. Be a good role model and wear a helmet yourself.

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How do I choose a helmet?

  • Choose a helmet that meets safety standards. For biking, riding a scooter, recreational rollerskating and in-line skating, look for a helmet with a CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) or Snell sticker inside.
     

  • For skateboarding, or aggressive, trick or extreme skating, look for a helmet that has a sticker inside saying it meets ASTM F1492. It is not enough for the helmet just to look like a skate helmet.
     

  • There are some helmets that meet both the CPSC and ASTM F1492 standards. They are multi-sport helmets and can be used for biking, skating, riding a scooter and skateboarding. Don’t be fooled into thinking that helmets that look “skate-style” are always multi-sport. Look for the two safety standard labels to be sure they are dual-certified.
     

  • Helmet costs vary. Expensive helmets are not always better. Choose one that fits properly, and that your child likes and will wear.
     

  • Helmet sizes vary between manufacturers. Always test for proper fit.
     

  • Check used or hand-me-down helmets with care, and never wear a helmet that is cracked or broken. Used helmets may have cracks you cannot see. Older helmets may not meet current safety standards.

Proper Helmet Fit

Use this easy, 3-point check to test for a proper helmet fit.

  1. Eyes
    Helmet sits level on your head and rests low on the forehead, 1 to 2 finger widths above the eyebrows. A helmet pushed up too high will not protect the face or head well in a fall or crash.

     

  2. Ears
    The straps are even, form a “Y” under each earlobe, and lay flat against the head.

     

  3. Mouth
    The buckled chin strap is loose enough so that you can breathe. There should be enough room so you can insert a finger between the buckle and chin. It should be tight enough that if you open your mouth, you can see the helmet pull down on top.

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Way to Get Your Child to Wear a Helmet, Every Ride

  • Make it a habit from the first time your child rides a tricycle, bike or roller skates. Be sure he or she wears a helmet every time.
     

  • Enforce the simple rule: “No helmet, No bike.” (or skateboard, or roller skates, or scooter.)
     

  • Explain that riding on wheels can be fun but dangerous, too and wearing a helmet can keep him from badly hurting his head.
     

  • Let your child pick out the helmet so he or she is more likely to wear it.
     

  • Wear one yourself. Remember: a child is more likely to wear her helmet when you do too!