Here are what experts, including the Consumer Federation of America?s child safety website, recommend when buying a bike helmet for your child:
- Only buy a helmet that meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards (look for the sticker in the helmet signifying that the helmet passes the standard). The CPSC standard:
- Ensures that bike helmets will adequately protect the head and that chin straps will be strong enough to prevent the helmet from coming off in a crash, collision or fall.
- Requires that helmets intended for children up to age five cover more of the head to provide added protection to the more fragile areas of a young child's skull.
- Let your child help pick out the helmet. Helmets now come in a variety of colors and patterns, and by involving your child in the selection process, you will increase the chances that your child to wear the helmet.
- Have your child try on the helmet in the store, to make sure you get the right size.
- Helmets come in child and adult sizes. Don't automatically buy a child size helmet; many children wear adult size helmets. Measure the circumference of your child's head.
- To save money, try to get a helmet included in the deal when you buy your child a bike. This is probably easier to accomplish if buying from a bike shop rather than a large department store.
- Remember: Helmets should be replaced if they have been involved in a crash.