Biking can be a fun pastime for the whole family, but it can also be dangerous. A fall from a bike can result in head trauma, which can have life-changing consequences and can even cause death. Before you allow your child to ride a bike, buy a helmet that fits correctly.
How to Find the Right Size
A helmet that doesn’t fit properly can’t do its job. A bicycle helmet should come down to just above your child’s eyebrows. It should fit snugly, but it should not be too tight.
Some helmets come with sizing pads that can be used to adjust the fit and that can be removed as a child’s head grows. Others have a wheel that can be turned to adjust the snugness of the helmet.
Helmet sizing varies from one manufacturer to another and different companies sell helmets with different shapes. Take your child to a store to try on several helmets so you can find one that fits snugly. Have your child move his or her head up and down and from side to side to make sure the helmet doesn’t move too much. Ask your child to describe how each helmet feels.
Don’t buy a helmet that is a little loose so your child can grow into it. The helmet that you purchase should fit properly now. If your child is still growing, look for an adjustable helmet so you won’t have to buy a new one too soon.
Optional Features to Consider
Vents can allow wind to flow over your child’s head while riding a bike. That can keep your child cool and comfortable and can also reduce the helmet’s weight.
If your child needs a helmet for mountain biking, you may want to choose one with a visor that can shield your child’s eyes from the sun and a wraparound chin bar that can protect the entire face. If your child wants to record videos while biking, you can look for a helmet with a built-in mount or buy one separately.
Put Safety First
Riding a bicycle can be an excellent way for kids to get some exercise, explore their surroundings and connect with family and friends. Biking is also risky, so safety should always be paramount. Discuss safety with your child, find a helmet that fits correctly and make sure your child wears it on every biking trip.
If your child falls while riding a bike or if the helmet is dropped on a hard surface, replace it. Even if you don’t see signs of damage, the helmet may not be able to prevent a head injury in a future accident.