Many of our children ride to school, particularly in the warmer weather. Please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately and that all bikes and scooters are safe and fit for use.
Parents should make their children wear helmets while cycling, but one that doesn't properly fit offers much less protection.
Helmets that are too big or small will be uncomfortable to wear and, more importantly, won't protect the head from bumps properly. It might be tempting to buy a larger one for your child to grow into, but it's really important to have a helmet that's the right size.
Helmets normally come with a size recommendation in centimetres, covering a range of sizes. This is a measurement of the circumference of the head.
To measure your child's head, just follow these steps:
Don't have a measuring tape? Use some string instead! Mark or cut the string and then straighten it out next to a tape measure or ruler to get the circumference.
After measuring you should have a rough starting point for helmet sizes. Get your child to try one on and look at how it sits on the head. It should be level, with a gap of about an inch (two fingers) between the eyebrow and the helmet. Make sure that all the straps and adjustments are firm but not too tight.
If the helmet can move around a lot, it's probably too big! Double check that the straps and adjusters are tight, but it's probably a good idea to try a smaller size.
If the helmet sits on top of the head or leaves a visible line on the skin, it's probably too small. Your child should be able to put on glasses with the helmet
Kids' helmets come with all sorts of different ways of adjusting the fit, but the most common use either different sized foam pads or a clicky dial to adjust the size of the helmet. This means that they can fit a range of different sizes and can grow a little bit with your child. The chin strap should not hang loose, but also should allow your child to open their mouth easily, before going comfortably around the ears. Straps can normally be adjusted in these places, so this is an easy area to fit!
While measuring can give you a good starting point for what size helmet you might need, and helmets are adjustable, there's no getting away from the fact that heads come in a lot of different shapes! There's no substitute for trying a helmet on.
Whether you ride a BMX, a mountain bike or a sweet chopper, it's important to keep your bicycle in decent shape, especially if it's your main mode of transportation. By doing regular maintenance, your two-wheeled machine will last longer and be a smoother ride. Check out these tips for bicycle repair and maintenance.