Celebrate Bike Safety Month with Helmet Safety Tips

While a lot has changed for many during the past couple months, the month of May remains Bike Safety Month. Watch this short, educational bike safety video from the the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Safety Store as a family and make sure your bike helmets fit correctly before your next bike ride! Does someone in your family need a new helmet? Purchase helmets online from the Safety Store for $9/each! *Enjoy FREE SHIPPING on bike helmets May 25-30 using the code “HELMET” at check out.*

Both of my kids received new bike helmets in April as we were doing a lot more bike riding while at home. We moved to a new house in November, and it is located on a low-traffic cul-de-sac. Little did we know how much our kids would look forward to their daily bike rides outside during our time of isolation.

Both of my kids, ages 5 and 8 years old, had to adjust to their new helmets. It is important to make sure you buy a helmet that is the right size for your child. Additionally, it takes a bit of time to make sure the helmet is fitting their head the right way. The size may be right, but if it is not adjusted correctly it may not function properly.

Be sure you are wearing your bike helmets correctly by following a few simple tips:

Size:

Take a measurement of the head you are buying a helmet for. If you are at the store, try the helmets on to see what size feels right. You will eventually adjust the straps in all places until the helmet is sitting snug on the head. But that won’t matter if you buy the wrong size helmet to begin with. My son’s head was just big enough to fit into the next size up, so it was especially important for us to properly adjust the straps on his helmet. It took a bit of time, but we got there and I feel much more secure in knowing his helmet is adjusted appropriately.

Position:

The helmet should sit level on the helmet wearers head. This means it is sitting low on the forehead and one or two finger-widths above the eyebrows. Often an accurately positioned helmet makes your forehead sweat and your hair messy. If those two things are happening, your bike helmet is probably positioned correctly. Luckily my daughter wears low ponytails at the nape of her neck, which means it doesn’t get in the way of her helmet. When she complains about her sweaty forehead I say, “That’s what is supposed to be happening. Keep riding!”

Side Straps:

Adjust the slider on both straps to form a “V” shape under, and slightly in front of, the ears. Many helmets also have a lock for the sliders. If your helmet has this, lock the side straps into place. My son was NOT a fan of this part. The poor guy was so annoyed with how many times we tried to form that “V” shape. His patience was thin but it increased when we said that if he didn’t have his helmet on correctly, he couldn’t ride his bike. (Mommy for the win!)

Buckles and Chin Strap:

Center the left buckle under the chin. On most helmets, the straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or shorten the chin straps. This task is easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments for length, if needed. Once adjusted to the needed length, buckle the chin strap. Tighten the strap until it is snug, so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap. To be honest, this part was a MESS for us. We accidentally buckled my daughters chin into her strap. She was NOT happy and tears flowed. She reminds us about the time we pinched her chin into her helmet buckle regularly. Oops.

And some general tips for Bike Helmet Safety:

  • If there is a significant crash while wearing the helmet, replace it; damage is not always visible.
  • Don’t plan for your kids to grow into their helmet. Buy and fit the helmet for their head size right now.
  • Make sure the helmet is comfortable. It is much more likely to be worn if it feels good while being worn.
  • That bike helmet is not in a rock and roll band. The helmet should not be rocking forward, backward or from side to side while on the wearers head. If it is rocking, readjust the straps.
  • Be a role model for your kids. Adults and children should both be wearing bike helmets. Your kids will be encouraged by watching you practice bike safety.

Now get outside and enjoy this May weather and celebrate Bike Safety Month!


This is a sponsored post. ICM was compensated for sharing this piece.  However, we love connecting our readers with people and organizations that are doing good in our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative!

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Linda, a Michigan native, moved to Iowa City in 2011. She is the Director of Women in Science and Engineering at the University of Iowa but enjoy summers off with her two children: Quinn (7) and Isaac (4). Linda has been married to Jacob for over ten years. Together, they enjoy cheering for the Nebraska Cornhuskers (shhhh!), going on adventures both big and small, and playing board games (they have over 100!). Linda enjoys reality television and can often be found watching a Bachelor franchise show while curled up in her “mom chair” with her favorite quilt. Linda is often told she has two volumes ON and OFF. No matter the volume she uses, Linda is an “old soul” with a love for baking, embroidery, and old movies.

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