Bike Safety: Proper Helmet Fitting | The Brett Saks Foundation


How many times have you been out and about only to see an adult or kid on a bike with no helmet? “When I have been able to ask parents why they or their kids ride without them, a very common answer is that the helmet never fits right anyway and so it doesn’t really protect them OR that the child doesn’t want to wear it,” says Kim Saks, founder of the Brett Saks Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to cycling safety for communities with riders of all ages. “Neither of these answers is good enough.” In fact, she agrees with Safe Kids International when it says: “Bike Helmets are a necessity and not an accessory.” According to the organization, helmets should be worn each and every time that anyone of any age rides. More children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport, reports Safe Kids. Helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent – yet only 45 percent of children 14 and under usually wear a bike helmet.

“Use your head, wear a helmet.”-Safe Kids

Helmets are the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes. To help make it easiest to get your kids to wear a helmet, take them shopping. “If they pick the helmet themselves, they are more likely to wear it and not fight against it,” says Saks. So when you hit the local Target or Walmart (or any store without a bike specialist) to pick up a helmet and need to make sure you get a good fit, Saks says that Safe Kids has an easy way to remember how to properly fit your child:

Eyes: There should be a two finger width between the top rim of the helmet and your child’s eye brows. He or she should have no problem looking upward with the helmet on. (See Photo)

Ears: When the helmet is on, the straps should make a Y underneath the ears. (See Photo)

Mouth: When the helmet is buckled, you should be able to open your mouth to talk, etc., with no problem. (See Photo)

Additional Bike Safety Tips

“We want kids and families to ride as much as possible because the benefits are MANY,” says Saks. “Statistics show that this exercise powerhouse helps keep kids in shape, is good for the environment and is family friendly.

Here are a few tips from Safe Kids so that you’ll be safe while you do so:

  • Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
  • When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights – and make sure your bike has reflectors as well. It’s also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
  • Actively supervise children until you’re comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.

Kim Saks is the founder of the Brett Saks Foundation, a 2nd Grade teacher at Ryan Elementary in Chandler and most importantly, a dedicated mom to children Aaron and Ana. Her husband Dr. Brett Saks, was a chiropractor, avid cyclist and guitar player who was killed by an impaired driver in 2008 while training for a 600-mile charity ride on Highway 87. To celebrate Brett’s life and giving spirit, Kim Saks founded the Brett Saks Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in 2011. The Brett Saks Foundation fulfills Brett’s dream of supporting programs that help disabled cyclists, but also seeks to be sure that cycling accidents such as his become a thing of the past by educating our communities about bike safety and awareness.


This post is sponsored by:

bike-land-150x150The Brett Saks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, hopes  to make our Arizona communities safer for bicyclists by teaching adults and children about road safety and mutual respect between drivers and cyclists in fun and engaging ways. We are “Shifting Gears to Saves Lives,” as more than 600 cyclists are lost each year to car-bike accidents. Learn more at


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