Time to buy a bike helmet for you or the kids in your family? Wondering what you should know before you shop?

We know: How to Buy a Bike Helmet

Beginning in 1999, the Federal government set mandatory safety standards for bike helmets. Since that time, all helmets manufactured in the U.S. or imported to the U.S. must meet these standards. Before that time, meeting safety requirements was voluntary.

How can I tell if a helmet meets Federal safety standards?

Look for a label or sticker on the helmet that says it meets Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards

What does the safety sticker mean?

It ensures that the bicycle helmet provides excellent head protection and that the chin strap is strong enough to keep the helmet on the head and in place during a fall or collision.

How much does a good helmet cost?

You can buy a good helmet for about $40. Check with Consumer Reports or other sport equipment magazines for recommendations and ratings. Manufacturers include Bell, Giro, PI1 Sports and Trek.

Are there different helmets for different ages?

Yes. Special helmets have been designed for children ages 1-5. Helmets for these children cover a larger portion of the head than regular bike helmets. So, if you are shopping for a small child be sure to get one of these special helmets. Children under 1 year of age should not be carried on a bike.

Who should wear a helmet? What’s the law?

Every one should wear a helmet when riding, including adults, teenagers and small children. Even kids on trikes should wear a helmet. Laws regarding bike helmets are either State or local. There is no Federal law requiring helmets. So check your local jurisdiction.

How can I tell if a helmet fits?

Make sure the helmet feels comfortable and that it sets level on your head, not tilted. The chin strap should be securely fastened and you should not be able to move the helmet in any direction. Use the sizing pads that come with the helmet, if necessary.

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