Bike helmets are essential for all bicyclists to wear – whether you’re 2 years old on a tricycle or their 40 year old parent biking around the block.  You only have 1 brain.  It’s a good idea to protect it – always.

Helmets come in all colors and designs, so you can choose one that suits you, but if it doesn’t fit you properly, it’s not going to do its job if you need it to.  So here’s what you need to know.

6 year old Skyler Cooper sporting a new RiseVT bike helmet.

Put the helmet on.  Now, adjust it so that the front sits about one-two fingers above your eyebrows.  If its farther back, it’s not going to protect you correctly.

Now, wiggle your head around.  Is the helmet wobbly or does it remain in place?  If it wobbles, it’s too loose, but helmets can be adjusted.  Some have a knob you can tighten in the back, some have additional pads you can place on the inside.  Make needed adjustments until the helmet is snug.

Adjust the straps.  The straps should form a “V” around the ears.  When you click the strap under your chin, it should be tight enough so it won’t pop off.  Again, if the helmet pops off when you fall, it won’t protect your head.  If you open your mouth wide, and the strap can slide off your chin, tighten it.  You can use one-two fingers to slide between the strap and the underside of your (closed) mouth to ensure it’s not too tight.

For a great video demonstrating how to fit a helmet, check out  .

If you need a new helmet or help in fitting one, contact RiseVT at

Wear a helmet.  Every time.

By Amy Brewer, Health Educator at Northwestern Medical Center