It is difficult to guard against collisions with motor vehicles when riding a bicycle. However, you can protect yourself and your family from traumatic head injuries from an accident by insisting that everyone wears bike helmets every time you ride.
Wearing a helmet is not enough, however. It will only provide the necessary protection if it fits properly. Here are some tips to find and adjust well-fitting helmets for yourself and your family:
Always try a helmet on for size before purchasing. Ensure that it cannot move from side to side when it sits flat on top of your head. New bicycle helmets come with either a universal fit ring or sizing pads. Use whatever is available to produce a snug fit.
Do not buy your child a helmet that is too large to grow into. As your child grows, you can either remove some of the sizing pads or buy a new helmet.
Buckle the chin strap and adjust it so that it fits snugly but not too tightly. If you can fit one finger between the chin and the strap, but no more, it is at the optimal adjustment.
- Side straps
The side straps can be difficult to adjust when the helmet is on your head. You may have to take it off for this step. The straps on the right and left side each form a Y-shape. The area just below your ear is the point where each strap should meet your face.
The helmet should not sit too far back on your forehead. It should be forward to provide sufficient protection to the frontal area of your skull. If there are only one or two finger-widths of space between your eyebrows and the rim of the helmet, it is in the correct position.
Injuries from bicycle accidents send more children ages 5 to 14 to the hospital than any other sport. Fortunately, it is a simple matter to protect your family with helmets.