Learn How To Properly Fit A Helmet

Riding bikes, skateboarding and rollerblading are all fun ways for our kids to stay active.  It is important to make sure that our kids are properly wearing the safety gear such as helmets.  Helmets come in various sizes, just like hats.  Sizes can very between manufacturers, so it is important to try on each one and wear them properly.  Below is a step-by-step guide, from the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to fit a helmet properly.    For more information on bicycle safety from the NHTSA click here.

Fit HelmetStep 1 – Size

Measure your head to find your size. Try on several helmets in your size until one feels right. Now put the helmet level on your head and adjust the sizing pads or fit ring until the helmet is snug.

Step 2 – Position

The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead— one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow.

Step 3 – Side Straps

Adjust the slider on both straps to form a “V” shape under, and slightly in front of, the ears. Lock the slider if possible.

Step 4 – Buckles

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 chinstraps. This task is easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments.

Step 5 – Chin Strap

Buckle your chinstrap. Tighten the strap until it is snug, so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.

Step 6 – Final Fitting

  • Does your helmet fit right? Open your mouth wide…big yawn! The helmet should pull down on your head. If not, refer back to step 5 and tighten the chinstrap.
  • Does your helmet rock back more than two fingers above the eyebrows? If so, unbuckle and shorten the front strap by moving the slider forward. Buckle and retighten the chinstrap, and test again.
  • Does your helmet rock forward into your eyes? If so, unbuckle and tighten the back strap by moving the slider back toward the ear. Buckle and retighten the chinstrap, and test again.
  • Roll the rubber band down to the buckle. All four straps must go through the rubber band and be close to the buckle to prevent the buckle from slipping.