Bicycle Helmet Safety for Kids

Bicycle Helmet Safety for Kids
Every child should wear a high quality and properly fitting helmet each time they ride a bicycle. A properly fit helmet significantly reduces the chance of brain injury in the event of a bicycle accident. Even a small fall from a slow moving bike can cause traumatic brain injury. The best way to prevent a brain injury is to wear a helmet. According to Safe Kids USA, "Helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent."
 

Approved by the CPSC

Check to make sure the helmet has a CPSC sticker on it. A CPSC sticker shows that the helmet meets the safety standards set by the United States government as regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Choosing a helmet with the CPSC sticker is the only way to assure that the helmet meets strict safety guidelines.

 
 

Check for a Safety Recall

Check with the U.S. Product Safety Commission's to find out if the helmet has been recalled. Helmets are recalled when a safety defect in the design or manufacture has been found. If the helmet has been recalled it is not safe to use and should be replaced. Contact the manufacturer of the helmet for a refund or replacement.

Proper Size

A properly-sized helmet is essential for providing protection. A growing child needs to have their helmet checked for fit regularly and replaced when the helmet becomes too small for the child's head. The helmet should fit tight around the whole head without causing discomfort. It should sit level on the head and fit snug enough that it does not move around. For a better fit, adjust the top and side pads inside the helmet. Use thicker or thinner pads to achieve the proper fit.

Straps

Before adjusting the straps, place the helmet on the child's head and make sure it is sitting level, not tilted back. If the helmet is placed on the head correctly it will cover the forehead. Adjust the straps so that they fit snug. The "Y" of the side straps should fit below the ear. Adjust the chin strap so that it fits tightly yet is still comfortable. After you have adjusted all of the straps, check the helmet for a proper fit. Put your hand on the helmet and try to move it around. If the helmet moves, the straps are not tight enough.

Helmet Replacement

Replace the helmet if it shows signs of significant wear or is cracked. A helmet that is in poor condition may not provide the safety protection that it originally did. Replace a helmet after it has been subjected to a significant impact, even if there is no visible damage to the helmet. Internal damage to the helmet may have occurred that could reduce it's safety effectiveness.

 

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.