As a responsible parent you should make sure your child is never on their bike without a bicycle helmet. However, keep the following in mind about bike helmets:
- The helmet should be safe and made according to prescribed norms. If so it will bear the seal of Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Snell Memorial Foundation which you can look out for.
- It should fit well and sit snugly on a child’s head without much movement. Use the foam sizing pads to ensure an optimum fit.
- Good visibility is imperative when riding a bike so make sure that no part of the helmet or its strap impedes vision.
- It should sit flat on the head; neither tilting forward nor backward.
- The helmet should be taken off when the child gets off the bicycle. In other situations, the helmet straps may pose a choking hazard or they may snag and cause an injury or fall.
- Look for wear and tear in a helmet and if there is damage, dents, cracks or asymmetry, it’s best to replace it. If the helmet has been in an accident it should be replaced even if there are no visible signs of damage. The next time it may not be able to withstand a second blow.