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.

Head Shake

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



By Annika Mang


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5 thoughts on “Protect your Head while Bicycling: 7 steps to properly fit a helmet”

  1. So important!
    This weekend I got a (very) minor concussion on the slopes and was soooooo grateful that I was wearing a helmet and that it fit properly. Your blog is wonderful.

  2. Great post mama! Super important. Now I need a post to tell me how to get my kid to stop loosening his helmet every time I look away. grr…

  3. Great post! I wish more people would take the few minute to make these fit proper. Hubby and I noticed way too many kids with floppy helmets on the trails over the last weekend.

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