Learn how to fit a child's bike helmet properly


How to fit your child's bike helmet in eight easy steps

When spring weather approaches, so too does the itch to get outdoors. As we take our families outside to enjoy the weather and get some exercise, keep safety in mind. 

One of the most important safety lessons you can teach your child is to wear a helmet every time he or she rides a bike. 

Of course, we worry most about kids getting struck by a car while they are biking. But serious head injuries can occur whether or not a vehicle is involved. Even a fall from a bike while riding on a sidewalk can result in a head injury.

Wearing a properly fitting bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of injury. The key words are properly fitting. Don't buy a helmet for your child to grow into. As your child grows, you should replace the helmet, and you should check for a snug fit each time your child puts on the helmet.

Here are eight steps to ensure that your child's bike helmet fits correctly.

bike helmet infographic sm

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Bike helmet in eight easy steps

  1. Measure your child’s head circumference using a soft tape measure placed one inch above the eyebrows. When shopping for helmets, use this measurement to find the right size range.
  2. Use the sizing pads or adjustable fit ring to ensure a snug fit. As your child grows, remember to adjust the fit (or buy a larger helmet).
  3. Adjust the side straps to form a Y that sits right under the ear lobe.
  4. Buckle the chin strap and tighten until it is snug. No more than two fingers should be able to fit under the strap.
  5. Check the fit: When your child opens his or her mouth like a yawn, the helmet should pull down on the head. If it doesn’t tighten the chin strap.
  6. The helmet should sit level on the head. The bottom edge of the helmet should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrow. No tilting back or tipping forward.
  7. If the helmet tilts back: Shorten the strap at the front of the Y. Buckle and tighten the chin strap and retest.
  8. If the helmet tips forward: Shorten the strap at the back of the Y. Buckle and tighten the chin strap and retest.


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