Good Fit, Safe Ride

Boy Riding a Bike

image credit: Michael Bentley

Spring is off to a chilly and damp start, but warmer weather has to be around the corner, right? As the weather improves and the bikes, scooters and other riding toys get dusted off, it’s important to remember that your children need to wear properly fitting helmets every time.

Safe Kids Worldwide has a three-step helmet fit test:

  1. Eyes: Put the helmet on your head. Look up. You should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one or two finger-widths about the eyebrows.
  2. Ears: Make sure the straps form a “V” under the ears when buckled. The straps should be a little tight but comfortable.
  3. Mouth: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Does the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten the straps.

You can watch a video of that three-step test, too.

Other important things to remember:

  • Take the time to make sure the helmet fits your child correctly when you purchase it; don’t buy a helmet for your child to “grow into.”
  • Children grow quickly so check the fit of the helmet each time your child goes out.
  • Helmets and playgrounds don’t mix. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that there’s a “hidden hazard of strangulation if a child wears a helmet while playing on playgrounds.”
  • Children learn from example, so wear your helmet, too!

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