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Helmet Safety

Children and youth under 18 are required by law  to wear a helmet when cycling in Ontario. However, the Porcupine Health Unit encourages everyone, regardless of your age, to wear a helmet.

Wearing a helmet while cycling can significantly reduce your risk of sustaining a severe head injury. There are different types of helmets available for different purposes. Make sure you purchase a helmet that meets the safety standards for the activity you want to do. You can use this chart to determine which helmet best fit your needs.

Types of Helmets for Wheeled Activities


Standard bicycle helmet

  • ASTM F1447
  • CPSC 16CFR
  • CSA D113.2-M89
  • Snell B90-S
  • Snell B95

Multi-sport helmet

  • ASTM F1492-00
  • CSA D113.2-M89
  • CPSC 16CFR
  • Snell N-94


Multi-sport helmet with face shield

  • ASTM F2032
  • Snell M-2005

Off-road BMX helmet

  • ASTM F1492-00
  • CSA D113.2-M89
  • CPSC 16CFR
  • Snell N-94

Skateboard/ Scooter/ In-line skating

Multi-sport helmet

  • ASTM F1492-00
  • CSA D113.2-M89
  • CPSC 16CFR
  • Snell N-94

Fitting your Bike Helmet

A helmet is only effective if it is fitted properly.  Follow these simple steps to ensure you have a helmet that is right for you.

  1. Place you helmet on your head.
  2. Move your head gently side to side and back and forth. The helmet should be snug and have very little movement.
  3. If needed, you may apply foam padding provided with the helmet, to have a tighter fit.

Know the 2-V-1 rule


  • Put the helmet level on the head, not tilting backward or forward
  • Helmet should cover the top of the head and sit 2 finger-widths above your eyebrows
  • Adjust the fit of the helmet by adding or repositioning the foam pads
  • Move the dial or other fitting devices so it fits snugly


  • The side straps should meet to form a V below each ear
  • If your helmet tilts back, tighten the front straps. If your helmet tilts forward, tighten the back straps


  • Fit 1 finger between chin and fastened strap

Replacing your helmet

Bicycle helmets expire 5 years from the date of manufacture. The manufacture date can be found on the inside of your helmet. You must also replace your helmet if you were involved in a crash or a fall, even if you cannot spot cracks or fissures, as the crash may have caused you helmet to fatigue. Helmets that are too large or too small in size should also be replaced.

Leading by Example

  • Cycling is a great family activity, but it isn't risk-free. Teach your children that everyone is responsible for safety.
  • On your rides, take the time to teach your child the proper turn and stop signals. Inform them what to watch out for such as parked cars or hidden driveways.
  • Teach them to share the road. Respect pedestrians by sharing the sidewalk (where applicable) and giving them the right of way.
  • Finally, wear a helmet. A bicycle rider under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet. Kids also follow the example set by their parents. If you wear your helmet, they are more likely to wear theirs.