After a 60 degree day in February we have spring fever at our house and the first thing my son wants to do is ride his bike. After digging the bike out of the back of the garage our next step is to make sure his helmet still fits. One of the leading causes of concussions/brain injuries in kids is bike accidents especially when helmets are not worn.
9 Great Tips For Your Kids And Their Helmets
I understand helmets are still not “cool” as I grew up when no one wore helmets to ride their bike. However when we know better we do better. We all want to keep our kids healthy, involved in their activities, and successful at school so one of the best things we can do for them (and for ourselves) is to get the whole family to wear helmets every time.
If you start them at a young age with the expectation of wearing a helmet and make sure you wear one yourself, then it’s no longer a fight. I see it all the time, a family is out for a bike rides and the littlest one is wearing a helmet but no one else. Why is that one person’s brain more valuable than the rest of the family? No one thinks twice about wearing appropriate protective gear for other sports or putting on a seatbelt on in the car so why are we letting ourselves and loved ones get away without a helmet on when riding our bikes (and skateboards too).
** Incorrect Fit **
Here is how to check your helmet’s fit
The helmet should sit level on the head with minimal movement sideways, forwards, or backwards, with the front just above the eyebrows, or just above the frame of the glasses. If you walk into a wall, the helmet should hit before your nose does and not move much!
- Measure your head to start with the correct size, you might need to try on a few different styles to find the one that feels right. To find your size, wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest portion of your head—about 1 in. above your eyebrows.
- Put the helmet on, it should sit level and low on your forehead about 1-2 finger widths above your eyebrows. Adjust padding to help with fit if necessary
- Adjust the side straps so the “V or Y” forms slightly under and in front of the ear: if your helmet rocks back more than 2 fingers above your eyebrows then shorten the front strap by moving the slider forward, if the helmet rocks forward into your eyes tighten the back strap by moving the slider back towards your ear.
- Adjust the chin strap so only 1-2 fingers fit under when buckled. The strap should be snug so when you open your mouth very wide you feel the helmet pull down a little on your head if not tighten the chin strap
** Correct Fit **
A few tips to get your family to wear helmet
- Make it a rule, everyone wears one every time, no matter what (this includes parents)
- Start them young, even on trikes get a helmet on their head
- Remind older kids if they have that chance encounter where they hit their head it will keep them out of sports, music, video games, off electronic devices, etc as they recover from a concussion, a concussion is more likely to happen from a bike accident than in their other activities
- Make sure it fits correctly, if it’s not comfortable it’s less likely to be worn
- Let them pick the color/style
In many states its the law for children under a certain age to wear a helmet, you can check to see if your state has a law here http://www.helmets.org/mandator.htm
Thanks for reading!