Bike helmet safety

Bike helmet safety for children

Riding a bike is a great activity to have fun and be active. It is important to always wear a bike helmet. It can help prevent injury or even death from a bike accident.

How to wear a bike helmet

Here is how to make sure your child is wearing a bike helmet the right way.

  • Is the helmet the right size? Your child's helmet should fit snugly. Make sure it doesn't move side to side. Some helmets come with sizing pads that can be used to make sure it fits your child's head.
  • Is the helmet in the right position? Your child's helmet should sit level on top of his or her head. The rim of the helmet should be one or two finger-widths above your child's eyebrows.
  • Have the side straps been adjusted? Make sure the straps of the helmet form a "V' shape under your child's ears. Adjust the sliders as needed.
  • Is the chin strap buckled? Buckle the strap and tighten it until it is snug. Make sure that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.

Bike helmet fit test

To make sure your child's helmet fits right, use this test:

  • Have your child open his or her mouth as wide as he or she can. Your child should feel the helmet hug or pull down on his or her head.

When to replace a bike helmet

Replace your child's bike helmet if it:

  • has been in a bike accident
  • is damaged from being used (such as cracked or dented).

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Bike Helmet Safety for Children, safe-ahc-14964 (Some information adapted from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
First Published: 08/15/2011
Last Reviewed: 08/15/2011

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Your child's bike helmet should sit level on top of his or her head.

Photo © Allina Health System
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Make sure the straps of the bike helmet form a "V" shape under your child's ears.

Photo © Allina Health System