Helmets protect cyclists from injuries related to falls, collisions and crashes. Properly fitted helmets are an important safeguard against brain injuries, the most common cause of bicycle-related fatalities.
Many states require that cyclists under 16 wear helmets.
How to Choose a helmet
Properly designed and tested helmets carry a certification sticker from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Look for this sticker inside the helmet.
How to Fit a Helmet
Read the manufacturer’s instructions. They typically describe how to use the padding to properly fit the helmet.
Your fit should be snug, level and stable. Ensure the helmet covers the head snugly.
Position the edge of the helmet s two fingers above the eyebrows to protect the forehead. The strap should meet in a V shape just below the ears. One finger should fit between the chin and the strap.
With the helmet on your head, try to move it gently from side to side, and back and forth. It should be snug enough to move the skin. If not, use the thicker foam padding provided with the helmet to make it snug. Then tighten the straps with enough room to slide one finger between the strap and the chin.
What Parents Need to Know About Bicycle Helmets
Safety standards for helmets have been raised. Newer designs are also lighter, stronger and better ventilated. Replace older models and the riders in your family will be safer and more comfortable.
Make sure your child’s helmet fits snugly. This is not an item you should buy for a child to “grow into.” Adjust padding, buckles and chin straps to ensure the helmet cannot shift from side to side.
Small children should not wear “aero” shaped helmets.
Bike helmets should only be worn when riding a bike – never on playground equipment or when climbing trees. Helmets may get stuck and cause strangulation.
If a helmet is damaged, replace it. If the foam is compacted, it will not offer the needed protection.