Now that biking weather is here, we’re pleased to bring you information about bike helmet safety. While there is no concussion-proof helmet, a bike helmet can help protect your child or teen from serious brain or head injury. Here is what to look for and what to avoid when picking out a helmet for your loved ones:
Bring the Rider
Bring your child or teen with you when buying a new helmet to make sure that you can check for a good fit.
Measure Head Size
To find out your child’s head size, wrap a soft tape measure around his or her head, just above their eyebrows and ears. Keep the tape measure stays level from front to back. (If you don’t have a soft tape measure, use a string and then measure it against a ruler).
Remember: Sizes Vary
Helmet sizes vary from brand-to-brand and with different models. Each helmet will fit differently, so it is important to check out the manufacturer’s website for the helmet brand’s fit instructions and sizing charts to find out what size fits your child.
The helmet should fit snugly all around, with no spaces between the foam and bike rider’s head. Ask your child or teen how the helmet feels on their head. While it needs to have a snug fit and not slide too far back/forward, a helmet that is too tight can cause headaches.
Some bike helmets have removable padding or a universal fit ring that can be adjusted to get a better fit.
A bike helmet should not sit too far back or forward on the rider’s head. To check, make sure the bottom of the pad inside the front of the helmet is one or two finger widths above the bike rider’s eyebrows. The back of the helmet should not rest on the rider’s neck.
Check for Vision
Make sure you can see your child’s or teen’s eyes and that he or she can see straight forward and side-to-side.
The side straps should form a “V” shape under, and slightly in front of, the bike rider’s ears.
The chin strap should be centered under the bike rider’s chin and fit snugly, so that no more than one or two fingers fit between the chin and the strap. If your child or teen opens their mouth wide, the helmet should pull down on their head. If not, the chin strap needs to be tighter. Once the chin strap is fastened, the helmet should not move in any direction, back-to- front or side-to-side.