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Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Child Safety: Take the Bike Helmet YES Test: How to Properly Fit a Helmet for Biking
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Child Safety

Take the Bike Helmet YES Test: How to Properly Fit a Helmet for Biking

​​​​​​​​​​​​Wearing a bike helmet every time you ride your bike can save your life and reduce the likelihood of a head injury by as much as 80%.

A properly fitted helmet is the best protection for your head. Below is a checklist to help you buy and fit a bike helmet.

Buying a Helmet for Biking

Before buying my helmet:

  • I measure around my head at eyebrow level to know what size of helmet to look for.
  • I decide which type of helmet I need:
  • A bike helmet, since ​I will just use it for biking.
  • A multi-sport helmet that is approved for biking, since I want a helmet I can use for biking as well as for other activities (such as skateboarding or inline-skating). I will read the helmet manufacturer’s guidelines and manuals to know which activities the helmet can be used for.​
  • I try on different styles and brands of helmets to find the best fit.
  • I check that the helmet is safety approved for cycling and meets safety standards such as CSA, CPSC, Snell or ASTM.
Fitting Your Helmet
  • I make sure the helmet is level from front to back when I put it on.
  • ​I check that the front edge of the helmet sits 1 to 2 finger-widths above my eyebrows.
  • ​I add or remove sizing pads or adjust the ring fit system to make the helmet fit snugly.
  • I adjust the straps to form a “V” just below and in front of my earlobes.
  • I do up the chinstrap.
  • I adjust the chinstrap so that there's only 1 finger-width between my chin and the chinstrap.
  • I fit the helmet tighter if it moves when I nod or shake my head.
Using a Helmet
  • I wear my helmet every time I ride a bike.
  • I don’t wear a hat or cap between my helmet and my head.
  • I treat my helmet carefully by not dropping it.
  • I follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to store my helmet.
Replacing a Helmet
  • I replace my helmet if it's been in a crash.
  • ​Many helmet manufacturers recommend that helmets be replaced after 5 years.

Just being smart...

  • The manufacturer’s instructions give detailed information about using and caring for a helmet.
  • Bike helmets protect riders of all ages. It is the law in Alberta that everyone under 18 years​ must wear a helmet. The law applies to both riders and passengers, including children in bicycle trailers or carriers.
  • Positive role modeling helps to ensure that children will wear their helmets so adults should always wear theirs too.
  • Adults, youth, and children who choose their own bike helmet are more likely to wear it every time.
  • Second-hand helmets aren't recommended.

Wear a helmet for every ride. Age makes no difference—HELMETS save lives!​​​

Current as of: April 2, 2018

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services