Wearing a bike helmet may seem like a simple step to take – but it can be a critical tool in preventing injury and death. In the U.S., approximately 800 cyclists are killed and 500,000 injured each year. Putting on this basic piece of safety equipment can help reduce the risk of injury by up to 85 percent.
Here’s what to look for when shopping for a helmet:
1. Look to see if there is a Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC) sticker.
The CPSC sticker should be on the inside of the helmet. If you see it, this is your confirmation that the helmet will be able to provide a high level of protection if an impact should occur. All helmets manufactured after March 1999 must meet this standard.
2. Check to see if the helmet has a snug fit when it’s buckled.
When the chinstrap is buckled, the helmet should fit snugly but still feel comfortable. The helmet should not move up and down or from side to side. It should sit level on your head, without being tilted back, and should rest low on your forehead.
3. Try bicycle helmets in different sizes with various thicknesses of internal pads for a custom fit.
If you can’t find the right fit, keep trying! There are a lot of different options when it comes to bicycle helmets. They are available in a range of sizes and pad thicknesses. By trying several out, you can get the custom fit you are looking for that will feel comfortable.
A properly fitted helmet can give you the protection you need while you’re cycling, in-line skating or roller-skating.