Helmets are a crucial piece of protective gear for anyone engaging in activities that pose a risk of head injury. Whether you are riding a bike, or motorcycle, or participating in a contact sport, a properly fitted helmet can make all the difference. However, fitting a helmet can be a bit tricky, especially if you have never done it before. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to properly fit a helmet.
Why is Proper Helmet Fit Important?
Wearing a helmet that does not fit properly can be just as dangerous as not wearing one at all. A loose helmet can slide around on your head, leaving you vulnerable to head injuries. On the other hand, a helmet that is too tight can cause discomfort and even pain, which can be distracting while you are trying to concentrate on your activity. Proper helmet fit is important for your safety and comfort.
Different Types of Helmets
Before we get into how to fit a helmet, it is important to know the different types of helmets available. There are several types of helmets, including:
- Bike helmets
- Motorcycle helmets
- Ski helmets
- Skateboard helmets
- Football helmets
Each type of helmet is designed to protect your head during a specific activity. It is important to choose the right type of helmet for your activity.
Measuring Your Head
Before you can choose the right helmet, you need to measure your head. To do this, use a soft tape measure to measure the circumference of your head, just above your eyebrows and ears. Take note of the measurement in centimeters or inches.
Choosing the Right Helmet
Once you have measured your head, you can begin the process of choosing the right helmet. When shopping for a helmet, look for one that:
- Matches the type of activity you will be doing
- Fits snugly but comfortably
- Has a safety certification, such as DOT or Snell
Try on several different helmets until you find one that fits properly and is comfortable to wear.
Fitting Your Helmet
Now that you have chosen the right helmet, it is time to fit it properly. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Positioning the Helmet
Position the helmet on your head so that it sits squarely on top of your head. The helmet should cover your forehead, just above your eyebrows, and the back of your head.
Step 2: Adjusting the Straps
Adjust the chin strap so that it is snug but not too tight. The strap should be centered under your chin and fit snugly against your skin. Adjust the side straps so that they form a “V” shape under your ears. Make sure the straps are tight enough to keep the helmet in place but not so tight that they cause discomfort.
Step 3: Checking the Fit
Once you have adjusted the straps, check the fit of the helmet. Shake your head from side to side and up and down. The helmet should stay in place and not move around. If the helmet slides around, it is too loose and you need to adjust the straps. If the helmet feels tight or uncomfortable, it may be too small and you need to try on a larger size.
Common Fitting Issues
Sometimes, even after following the steps above, you may
encounter some fitting issues with your helmet. Here are some common issues and how to address them:
1. Helmet moves too much
If your helmet moves too much when you shake your head, the straps may be too loose. Adjust the straps and try again. If the helmet still moves too much, it may be too big for your head and you should try a smaller size.
2. Helmet is too tight
If your helmet is too tight and causes discomfort, it may be too small. Try on a larger size and adjust the straps accordingly.
3. Helmet sits too high or low
If your helmet sits too high or low on your head, it may not be the right shape for your head. Try on a different model or brand of helmet to find one that fits your head shape better.
Maintaining Your Helmet
To ensure that your helmet continues to fit properly and provide adequate protection, you need to maintain it properly. Here are some tips for maintaining your helmet:
- Store your helmet in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
- Avoid dropping your helmet or hitting it against hard surfaces.
- Clean your helmet regularly with mild soap and water.
- Replace your helmet if it becomes damaged or involved in a crash.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
How often should I replace my helmet?
It is recommended to replace your helmet every 5 years, or sooner if it becomes damaged or involved in a crash.
Can I wear a helmet that is too big or too small?
No, wearing a helmet that is too big or too small can be dangerous and does not provide adequate protection.
How do I know if my helmet is certified?
Look for a sticker on the helmet that indicates a safety certification, such as DOT or Snell.
Can I wear a helmet that has been in a crash?
No, a helmet that has been involved in a crash should be replaced, even if there are no visible signs of damage.
Can I adjust the fit of my helmet while I am wearing it?
No, you should always adjust the fit of your helmet before putting it on your head. Adjusting the fit while wearing the helmet can compromise its safety and protection.
Proper helmet fit is essential for your safety and comfort while engaging in activities that pose a risk of head injury. Follow the steps outlined above to ensure that your helmet fits properly and provides the best possible protection.