The Consumer Federation Of America makes the following recommendations to parents regarding bike helmet safety and use:
- Mandatory use. A bike helmet should be worn on each and every ride. In some parts of the country, it's the law. Remember that serious crashes can happen close to home on short rides.
- Wear. Until your child is old enough to put the helmet on correctly each time, make sure that:
- The helmet fits snugly, but not too tightly, and fits straight across the head (not angled to the back or the front).
- The helmet touches the middle of her forehead and does not move in any direction when your child shakes her head.
- If your child can place her hand on her forehead, the helmet is not sitting too far back on her head.
- Most helmets come with sizing pads, often foam pads attached with Velcro, which can be adjusted as your child grows.
- Positive reinforcement. Praise your child for wearing his helmet. When you ride with him, be sure to wear a helmet yourself to set a good example. Make it a game to point out other riders that do or do not wear helmets. Explain to your child in simple terms why it is important to wear a helmet. For older children, point out helmeted riders who bike often, such as couriers and racers.