- Helmets come in 2 types - Hard Shell Helmets and Soft Shell Helmets. The hard ones are covered with a hard plastic or fiberglass shell, which enclose the polystyrene layer inside. The soft ones have a thick layer of polystyrene covered with a cloth cover or a surface coating which protects the head in case of a fall.
Both these helmets are approved, and come equally recommended.
- You can choose a helmet especially meant for cycling, or a multipurpose helmet for other sports like skateboarding can also double up as a bike helmet. But make sure that you do not use a cycling helmet for other sports.
- Choose a Brighly Colored Helmet. Helmets which are bright are easy to see on the road and are more safe.
- Try the helmet on. It should fit snugly and not be too loose or too tight. If the helmet is loose, it will shift around on your head when you move it, or slide around. If the helmet is too tight, it will feel uncomfortable.
- Put the helmet straps on. The straps should come all the way around the ears and under the chin. The strap should not be too tight, or they will cut into your skin. They should be adjustable so that the helmet can be used for a longer time period - 3 to 5 years at least.
- The helmet should go all the way around your head comfortably, and should cover your forehead upto 1 inch above your eyes.
One of the most important criteria while selecting a helmet is to make sure that it meets the safety standards specified by ANSI, Snell, or CPSC. Check the inside of the helmet for a safety sticker to make sure it is alright.
A few more pointers to follow:
Make your child pick out his/her own helmet. This way, your child will probably want to wear the helmet more. Regularly inspect the helmet for cracks or chips. Make sure that your child doesn't wear anything under the helmet like caps or barrettes. Replace the helmet after a crash or collision. Helmets should be replaced every 3-5 years.