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How to check the fit of your child’s helmet

When learning to ride a bike, scooter, skateboard or even rollerblades, it is inevitable that children will have a few falls. While bumps and scrapes are a part of growing up – serious head injuries are not.

To protect their head in an impact, children (and adults) need to be wearing a properly fitted helmet when riding any wheeled device. Wearing a helmet that is the correct size for the child can reduce their risk of receiving a serious head injury by up to 90% in a collision.

bike

Image source: Pixabay

But what does properly fitted actually mean?

When checking the fit of your child’s helmet, there a few key things to look out for:

  • Does the helmet fit snugly on the child’s head?
  • Does the helmet sit level on the child’s head? The helmet should be one or two finger widths above their eyebrow.
  • Is the left buckle centred underneath the child’s chin?
  • Have the straps been adjusted so that they form a “V” shape under and slightly in front of the ears.
  • Is the buckle tightened so that it is snug? You should not be able to fit any more than one or two fingers between the child’s chin and the strap.

Don’t forget that helmets need to comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2063. This should be displayed on both the packaging and the helmet itself. While it might be tempting to use a second hand helmet, helmets are only designed for single impact protection, and damage sustained in an accident may not be visible.

It is also important to care for your child’s helmet. This means keeping it out of direct sunlight and washing it with soap and water. Cleaning agents or exposure to the sun could damage the helmet and reduce the level of protection it provides your child in an accident.

Finally, always enforce the golden rule of NO HELMET, NO RIDE.

What wheeled device safety rules do you have in your home?

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