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For Parents: Helmet Safety Checklist

The right helmet and other safety equipment can protect the head when biking, in-line skating, roller-skating, or skateboarding. But they only protect if worn correctly. Read the instructions for each piece of equipment with your child. The helmet needs to be made specifically for the activity. For instance, a bike helmet shouldn't be used for protection when riding horses or playing ice hockey.

Before you buy a helmet, check the label to make sure it meets safety standards for the sport. If your child has a fall, and the helmet receives a serious impact, don't use it again. The helmet needs to be returned to the manufacturer for a safety inspection, or destroyed and replaced.

Child's bicycle helmet.
A bicycle helmet should have a foam shell to absorb impact, air vents for comfort, certification to show that the helmet has been approved, a stabilizer to secure the helmet in the back, straps for a secure fit, and padding for comfort and fit.
Girl wearing safety equipment including helmet, elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads, pants strap, tied shoelaces.

Can you check off all of the following?

☐ I'm a good role model: I always wear a helmet made for the sport when it’s needed.

☐ My child always wears a sport-specific helmet when needed, even if it's just in front of the house.

☐ My child’s helmet fits securely, with the straps tight under the chin.

☐ I check my child’s helmet often to make sure it’s in good shape and fits well.

Does it fit?

Boy testing tightness of bicycle helmet strap.
With the helmet level, tighten the strap until one finger fits under it.
Boy testing fit of bicycle helmet.
The helmet should not move forward or back.

Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
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