Cycling is a fantastic method for children to spend time outdoors and obtain exercise. Additionally, it is an environmentally sustainable mode of transportation. However, falls from bicycles can result in catastrophic head injuries, so ensure that your youngster wears a helmet on every ride.
Develop a helmet habit early on
As soon as your children begin riding scooters or tricycles, or as a passenger on the back of an adult’s bike, require them to wear helmets. If youngsters develop the habit of wearing helmets anytime they ride anything with wheels, it will last a lifetime. However, it is never too late to provide your youngsters with helmets.
Allow your children to choose their own helmets. They will be able to inform you if the position is comfortable. And they are more inclined to wear it if they enjoy the design.
While it is always encouraging to see children wearing helmets, if the helmet does not fit properly, your child will not receive the necessary protection. A helmet that is improperly fitted–one that is too large or too tiny, slides side to side, or tilts back too far–is not much safer than wearing no helmet at all. The good news is that correctly fitting a helmet is not difficult. With a few simple suggestions and a little of patience, that lid will be as secure as possible.
I’ll walk you through five stages to ensure that your child’s helmet fits properly and provides optimum safety.
Step 1: Ascertain that the helmet is the correct size.
It may seem self-evident, yet I see several children wearing helmets that are not even the correct size. There is no way to adapt a helmet to fit a child if it is much too large (or tiny). To properly fit your child for a helmet, you need to take their head circumference measurement. This may be accomplished using a cloth measuring tape (the simplest method) or by measuring a string against a ruler.
Take a measurement across the circumference of your child’s forehead, right above the brows. Ascertain that you are measuring in centimeters or millimeters (or convert from inches to metric after the fact).
You may then compare this measurement to the sizing chart provided by the helmet manufacturer and select a suitable helmet for your child (or verify that their current helmet fits).
Step 2: Ensure that it fits snugly.
Helmets are often adjustable since they are meant to endure a long time. To ensure that the helmet fits properly, it will either include numerous helmet pads or a rear fit dial (or both).
When your youngster can shake and roll their head without the helmet changing, the helmet is snug enough. The front should be situated directly over the brows of your youngster (that same place where you measured their head circumference). If it is cocked back and vast areas of their forehead are visible, it is either too large or has to be adjusted.
Cycling helmets have a rear fit dial located on the back of the helmet that may be used to adjust the helmet’s fit.
Step 3: Make any necessary adjustments to the side straps.
Both straps should terminate in a Y right below your child’s ear. Generally, I find it simplest to adjust it while they still have the helmet on their head. That is, assuming they remain motionless long enough for you to perform the task.
Step 4: Adjust the chin strap as necessary.
Adjust the chin strap to a tight fit but not too so. One finger should fit between the strap and your child’s chin, but no more.
Step 5: Continue checking.
Simply adjusting your child’s helmet once is insufficient. If your child is anything like mine, he or she will yank on the chin strip until it loosens and then fiddle with the fit ring on the rear of the helmet.
Maintain an eye on your fit. Is the chin strap very loose? Is the helmet on your child’s head crooked? If this is the case, it is time to re-tighten things up.