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Bicycle Helmet Safety

Bike Helmets Prevent Head Injury

Glenn Tripp, MD, Developmental Pediatrician at Mary Bridge interviews Dana Hutchinson, Child Safety Educator at Mary Bridge Center for Childhood Safety about the importance of correct helmet use. Learn how to properly choose and fit helmets for your child and other ways to keep your child safe while riding or wheeling.

Make sure your child is wearing his or her bike helmet correctly.

Boy with helmet

Right Way:

  • Make sure the front is in the front
  • Wear the helmet low on the forehead, just above the eyebrows
  • Helmet should not slide or wobble. Use additional pads if necessary
  • Straps should form a "Y" directly under the ear
  • Keep straps snug, with no more than two fingers fitting in the "slack."

Wrong Way:

  • Helmet tilted back
  • Straps too loose
  • Also never throw your helmet on the ground, drag it or use it as a hockey puck. Crashing can make tiny cracks in the helmet, which means it might not be able to protect you next time.

The Center for Childhood Safety at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital offers free helmet fittings for children. Call 253-403-1234 to schedule an appointment.

Tips for Parents

  • Help kids understand that staying safe is important to them, and to you.
  • Teach by example. Always wear your helmet and follow rules of the road when you ride.
  • Teach the rules of the road the same way you teach driving a car: by riding along and explaining and practicing each rule.
  • "Test" a child before giving him or her the responsibility of riding on the street.
  • When buying a helmet, try on several for the best fit. Look for an ANSI or SNELL approval sticker.
  • Recognize safe riding with lots of praise!

Additional Information

Childhood Safety Classes and Events