A Perfect Fit: Bike Helmets for Safety

Five to 14 year-olds and young adults age 15 to 24 make up 52 percent of bike injuries seen in the U.S. People age 15 to 29, as well as those 45 years and older, have the highest bike-related deaths.

If you think that bike helmets are just a fashion accessory along for the ride, think again. A bike helmet can help protect the head and brain if you crash. But bike helmets must fit right in order to do their job. Here’s how to can get a level and snug fit, before pedaling:

  • Measure your head first to find a helmet size, ideally with a tape measure. (You can also use a string, and then just measure the string with a ruler.)
  • Level the helmet low on your forehead, but above the eyebrows. Make sure you can see!
  • Adjust the side straps to make a “V” below the ears.
  • Pull and fasten snugly under the chin.
  • Try to yawn; your skin should move a little.
  • Only two fingers should be able to fit between your head and helmet.

Always wear a helmet for protection. And yes, they can look pretty cool, too, but don’t sacrifice function for fashion. Get a proper fit first before you get sucked in by that pop of color. Don’t ride at night. (If you must, use lights and bright gear that reflects light.) Wear bright colors any time you ride (on your helmet as well as clothing).

Remember: Fit before fashion, and ride to stay alive!


By Lisa Miceli Feliciano

Visit www.cdc.gov for a Heads Up Helmet Fact Sheet.

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