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Bike Helmets: Buckle Up for Safety

Make It a Rule: No Helmet, No Bike!

Does the Helmet Fit? Try the Eyes, Ears and Mouth Test:

GIrl BIke HelmetEYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.

EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a "V" under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.

MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head?

Source: SafeKids.org

Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.* A properly fitted helmet will also help to protect the face from injury. And, in New York, children ages 14 and under are required by law to wear helmets while riding a bicycle, skateboard or in-line skates. Still, many parents undermine helmet safety by neglecting to wear their own helmets or by allowing children to wear poorly fitted helmets. Ensure the safest ride possible with this checklist

• Buy a helmet that meets or exceeds current safety standards developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

• Buy your child’s helmet at a reputable bicycle shop, where a professional will custom-fit it to her head. Helmet technology continues to improve, allowing for greater comfort and a more precise fit.

• Allow your child to participate in selecting his helmet – it will be easier to get him to wear it if he thinks it’s "cool."

• The helmet should fit snugly and comfortably. The straps should make a "V" directly under the ears. Viewed in profile, the helmet should cover the forehead and be straight, not tilted, across the head.

• Talk to the parents of your child’s friends to make sure they also require their kids to wear helmets – yours will be less likely to take his off when you’re not around.

• Practice what you preach. Always wear your own helmet.

* Source: National SAFE KIDS Campaign

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