With two active boys, I know the value of hand-me-downs. Soccer cleats and sweatshirts have been passed from kid to kid around the neighborhood, and most things are outgrown long before they wear out.
The one thing I’m cautious about handing down is bike helmets. Kids’ helmets can take a lot of abuse, and there’s no piece of cycling equipment more critical to their safety. You don’t need to buy the most expensive helmet on the market, but you do need one that is in good condition and fits well.
Helmets can prevent an estimated 85 percent of head injuries from bike crashes, but they only work if your child wears one every time they ride! Here are a few reminders to help you keep your kids safe:
- Don’t let your child ride his/her bike with the helmet unbuckled or super-loose. The chin strap should leave enough room to fit a finger between the strap and the chin, but should pull tight when you open your mouth.
- Make sure your child’s helmet sits low enough on his or her head so that it rests one to two finger widths above the eyebrows.
- Adjust the helmet straps so that they are even on both sides, forming a “Y” under the ears.
- A helmet that fits well should be comfortable – and your kid will be more likely to wear it! Check for twisted straps or missing pads if your child is complaining.
- Any helmet that has been involved in a crash should be replaced, even if there is no visible damage. If the foam inside has been compromised, the helmet will no longer protect the way it was designed to.
If you’re near Lynnwood this Saturday, April 21, Kohl’s will be having a free helmet fitting and giveaway from 10am – 1pm. Otherwise, the CPSC has a simple chart that might help you to ensure your child’s helmet fits properly. Or stop in to ask us – we are always happy to help!