Girl wearing bike helmet

Bike Helmet Safety

Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2015 by UVM Health Network - CVMC

Did you know that wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%? 

While there is no concussion-proof helmet, a bike helmet can help protect your child or teen from a serious brain or head injury. A helmet that fits rights will not only be safer for your child but more comfortable for them to wear.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put forth the following recommendations on how to properly fit your child's helmet and make sure that it stays safe for your child:

  • Start with the right size: You should have your child with you when buying a new helmet. Use a soft tape to measure their head just above their eyebrows keeping the tape level from front to back. Since helmets vary in size and fit from brand to brand, make sure to consult each manufacturer's sizing chart and try different helmets on for fit.
  • Get a good fit: A helmet should fit snugly at all points, with no spaces between the foam and your child's head. The helmet should not ride to high or low (make sure you can see their eyes). The bottom pad inside the helmet should be one or two finger widths above their eyebrows. 
  • Take care of the helmet:  DO NOT allow your child to wear a cracked or broken helmet, or one with missing pads or other parts. Keep it clean and store it in a temperature controlled room away from direct sunlight (not in your car). While kids love to decorate their helmets, stickers or paint may effect its safety.
  • Look for labels: Check for the date of manufacture (in case it is recalled) and make sure he helmet is U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC - certified.
  • When to replace: A helmet that is damaged in any way or has been involved in a crash should no longer be worn as the foam protective materials may be compromised.

For more information about helmet safety and how to properly fit helmets for different types of sports (lacrosse, hockey, football, etc.), visit the CDC's site at

Concussion and Helmet Safety Fitting App

The CDC HEADS UP Concussion and Helmet Safety app will help you learn how to spot a possible concussion and what to do if you think your child or teen has a concussion or other serious brain injury. The application also includes a 3D helmet fit feature that teaches about proper helmet fit, safety and care.

Download or learn more about the app here.

CDC's HEADS UP Video: Get a Heads Up on Helmets

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (


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