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Getting the Right Fit on Bike Helmets

Published on Jul 5, 2013 at 9:04 am in Bicycle Accident.

If you’re teaching your child how to ride without training wheels this summer, it’s also time to teach them how to wear a bike helmet. Correct fit and proper positioning are key to letting bike helmets do their work. Consider these facts:

  • One study found that in a bike crash, children with ill-fitting helmets are twice as likely to incur a head injury as kids with the proper fit.
  • Wearing a helmet tipped too far back leaves a child with a 52% greater risk of head injury than those wearing helmets properly centered.

Choosing a Helmet
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cautions parents that bike helmets come in different sizes, like hats – it’s not one size fits all. The first step in proper fit is to choose a helmet of the right size. The helmet should fit snugly, which can be matched in the store or online by measuring the child’s head.

Then use the sizing pads provided to customize the fit. The pads can later be reduced or removed as the child grows.

Choose a helmet that meets safety standards. For biking, look for a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell sticker inside.

The Seattle Children’s Hospital provides a “Quick-Fit Check” to help parents remember to check the following: