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Helmets

Can't live with them? Learn to, because you can't bike safely without them. Properly wearing a helmet when cycling is your best means of protection against injury.

Donning a bike helmet is not, as they say, rocket science. But you need to know the right way to wear a helmet and what kind of helmet to buy.


cautions
links
  learn about important safety information. more   view an extensive list of resources on the web. more


Cautions

  1) Wear a helmet:

  A helmet is your last line of defense in an accident; never ride without one
  Helmets can reduce serious head injuries by 85% in a crash
  A helmet will not protect you if it does not fit properly
   
  2) Always wear a properly fitting helmet:

  Make sure that the helmet fits on top of the head, not tipped back
  Always wear a helmet while riding a bike, no matter how short the trip
  After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, replace it immediately
   
  3) Shell and pads:

  Find the smallest helmet shell size that fits over your head
  Helmet pads should not be used to make a helmet that is too big fit your head
  Leave about two-fingers width between your eyebrows and the front of the helmet
   
  4) Straps:

  The straps should be joined just under each ear at the jawbone
  The buckle should be snug with your mouth completely open
  Periodically check your strap adjustment; improper fit can render a helmet useless
   
  5) Ventilation:

  In general, the more vents the better; improper ventilation can cause overheating
  Helmets with good ventilation can actually be cooler than riding with no helmet at all
  More vents usually mean a higher priced helmet; buy one that you will want to wear
   
  6) Colors:

  Helmets come in all different colors in different models; buy a highly visible color
  Shell color does not affect the temperature; black shell will not be hotter in the sun
  Pick a color that encourages you to wear it
  Remember, a helmet and good cycling skills go hand in hand. Even though you're wearing a helmet, it's important to always practice safe riding.

cautions
links top of page



Links

 
Kids and Helmets: A Guide for Adults: Tips, advice, toolkits, free materials, starting a helmet campaign & more!


The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
http://www.helmets.org
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI)'s Web site is a veritable clearinghouse of information on the subject. Go there for information on anything from general safety tips and stats, to consumer and recall info, and almost any other helmet topic you can think of. BHSI is the helmet advocacy program of the Washington Area Bicyclist association. They provide a handy online toolkit for organizers of helmet safety campaigns (including where to find inexpensive helmets for promotional use ), answer the question whether a "college brain" is worth protecting, and even provide some advice for bald cyclists!

National Bicycle Safety Network's Bike Helmet Section
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/bike/helmets.htm
This page's strength is that it provides links to several key websites dedicated to bicycle helmets.

How To Create Your Own Bicycle Helmet Campaign
http://www.edc.org/HHD/csn/buildbridges/bb1.3/oregon.html

Can you tell me how to bike to Sesame Street?
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/parents/solutions/information/0,6412,29060,00.html
Specialists at the Children's Memorial Medical Center in Chicago discuss the perfect bike helmet and give helpful tips for outfitting children with a bicycle helmet.

Safe Riders
http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/injury/safe/free2.htm
Find free helmet stuff from Safe Riders including pamphlets and posters.

Bike Safety Poster
http://www.rtis.com/reg/bcs/org/bvcweb/bvc-tips.htm
This poster provides a cool graphic for every bike safety situation, including wearing helmets.

Ontario Coalition for Better Bicycling
http://www.magma.ca/~ocbc/index.html
Helmet FAQs.

American Association of Pediatricians
http://www.aap.org/family/tipsfor.htm
Tips for getting a child to wear a helmet.

Helmet Fit
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/outreach/safesobr/18qp2/bikehelmet/
NHTSA's Tips on achieving the perfect bike helmet fit.

More helmet fit tips
http://www.bikeleague.org/educenter/factsheets/helmetfit.htm
From the Leauge of American Bicyclists.

Getting to School Community Action Safety Kit
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/Getting_to_School/toc.html
NHTSA's indispensable collection of articles, factsheets, tips and more that cover bike, bus, and pedestrian safety.

"Do I have to wear a helmet, Mom?"
http://www.safekids.org/tier3_cd.cfm?content_item_id=304&folder_id=169
This Safe Kids article will help you answer that question.

     
     
Kids and Helmets: Fun Stuff Just for Kids: Play games, color pictures, read stories and comics, and chat with other kids about helmet stuff!


Ride with a Couple of Dummies

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/kids/biketour/index.html
Take the illustrated Safety City Bike Tour with Vince and Larry, the crash test dummies! Includes stops at Helmet Junction, City Biking, and even a few Danger Zones. Provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.)

Motor City Mayhem?
http://www.radrider.com
See Rad Rider, Safety Cycler with his Protectron Helmet and his trusty two-wheeled steed, the "Red Racer" in the fast-paced interactive comic book "Motor City Mayhem." Then take Rad Rider's Safety Test for Kids.

Free Comic Book!
http://www.cpsc.gov/kids/kids.html
Download Sprocketman and read the adventures of another helmet-wearing superhero cyclist.

Color on Sesame Street:
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/sesamestreet/coloringpages/view/0,1155,10389,00.html
Ernie on his Bike.

Watch a Helmet Cartoon
http://www.chp.edu/besafe/kids/01biking.php
A very short animated cartoon in which Jen displays the right way to wear a helmet and other bicycling safety basics.