A new report shows that almost 50 percent of parents don't make their child wear a helmet. Here's why it's important, and how to get a proper fit.

child bike helmet fits properly
Credit: Zoran Orcik/Shutterstock

Just in time for National Bike to School Day—you knew it was today, right?—Safe Kids Worldwide and Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program have has released a new report with some pretty startling news about kids and bike helmets. Namely, that they aren't always wearing them—even though more than 426,000 kids made a trip to the ER in 2015 due to a wheeled sports injury.

Wearing a helmet is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes. Yet while statistics show that use of them is on the rise, nearly half of the parents surveyed by Safe Kids admitted that they don't always make their child wear one. And 25 percent reported that their kids simply refused to put one on because it felt uncomfortable and didn't look cool.

I'm not gonna lie, I've been guilty of letting the helmet rule slide on occasion—like when my son is just playing around with his scooter in the driveway, for example. But injuries can happen on any type of wheels—whether our kids are riding, skating, or scooting. And concrete is concrete. So even if your kid is simply pedaling around outside the front door, it's important for him to use a helmet.

Of course, in order for helmets to work, they have to fit right. So be sure to check out Safe Kids' Bike Helmet Fit Test video, which offers handy tips, like how you should make sure the helmet is no more than two fingers above your child's eyes and feels snug when their mouth is open.


Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.