Are you and your children wearing the right size of bicycle helmet? Are you wearing the helmet properly? Choosing a helmet that is not the right size or not fitted poses a risk to the child or adult wearing the helmet. Brain injury is more likely to happen when you either don’t wear a helmet or it is not worn properly.
Some people wear a helmet but it is not done up… AT ALL. That means that even if you get in a crash your head is NOT protected. Others wear a helmet and have it done up BUT then it slides back on the head with movement. This should not happen if you really want to protect your head! Trust me! You want that Noggin’ as best as you can for as long as possible.
7 Steps to Properly Fit a Helmet
Choose a helmet at the store and ask if you can try it on. If that one does not fit properly then try another. We went to MEC an outdoor store and they insisted that we try it on our 1 year old before purchasing them. I wanted to buy the cheapest one but soon learnt that each helmet fits each child differently and the cheapest one did not work for our daughter. This is one piece of gear that you NEED to fit properly.
NOTE: While we were pretty close we could not find the perfect perfect fit and they said it was because our 22 month old daughter was between sizes so we had to pick the best fit.
Loosen the Helmet
Most helmets nowadays come with a tightener at the back. Loosen that completely before placing the helmet on the head!
Put the Helmet On
Put the helmet on. Once the helmet is on try to adjust it so that it is no more then 1 finger above the eyebrows.
Tighten the Back
Tighten the back as much as possible so that the helmet does not move.
Adjust Side Straps
Adjust the side straps. The straps should go around the ear and the point should be directly below the ear lobe.
Do a head shake. If the helmet falls forward or backwards then the helmet try all the steps over again. If it still does not stay on then you need a different style/size of helmet.
Note: Really young children cannot do a full head shake. Observe them wearing the helmet. We also did a light tap at the back and front of the helmet to see if it moved.
Do Up the Helmet
Now it is time to do up the strap of the helmet! The straps under the chin should be no more then a finger away from the chin. If you need to readjust the straps make sure to re-check the side straps if you need to!
Now get out riding with your kids whether it is pulling them behind you or biking beside them!
Inspiration and Recommended Reading:
Gearing Up for Biking Season: Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies
Starting a Toddler on a Balance Bike- Tips and Tricks: Tales of a Mountain Mama