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Go Ask Mom

Get your kids the right bike helmet

Posted February 8, 2010

Of the 700 bike-related deaths each year, almost 75 percent of them are due to head injuries. Nearly all of them could have been avoided if the rider was wearing a helmet.

Kimberly Bailey, injury prevention coordinator for Duke University Hospital, offers some tips to ensure that you and your kids are wearing the right helmet.

Here's what's to look for:

  • Your helmet should be snug, but comfortable.
  • It should be level on your head - not tilting forward or backward.
  • It should have a sticker that indicates it's in compliance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Snell Memorial Foundation. The sticker is usually inside the lining of the helmet.
  • When adjusting the helmets straps, the helmet should fit one to two inches above the eybrow. The straps should come together in a Y shape under your ear and fit very close to your head. And the chin strap should fit snugly so you can feel a slight resistance on your mouth.

Should a toddler wear a helmet? Find the answer to that question and more information about bike helmet safety at


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