The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute says the best way to get your child to wear a helmet is to wear one yourself. Start the helmet rule early, be consistent, point out sports pros wearing helmets, and teach kids that having a bike is really owning one’s first vehicle — and responsibility comes with the privilege.
At www.safekids.org, find an easy test for fitting a helmet: Once it’s on, ask the child to look up. They should be able to see the bottom rim. Straps should form a “V” under the ears and be slightly tight. When a child opens her mouth wide, the helmet should hug her head. There should be no rocking of the helmet at any time.
You don’t need to replace a helmet each year if your child’s helmet has thick and thin pads so you can adjust the fit. But do take your child with you when buying the first helmet, and buy from the right category — toddler, child or youth.
All helmets made in the United States must carry the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s sticker.
Replace the helmet if there’s been a crash.