Take note retailers: We are hearing there is a legal challenge currently being heard in the courts that may have you liable for safety helmets you sell in which an injury occurs from improper fit or sizing. Even though the information on fitting and use is enclosed with the product, you should consider setting up written protocol for your sales team and make sure they are properly trained to assist customers. Signage that shows proper fitting techniques should also be placed in your respective display areas.
To select and properly fit a safety helmet, follow the helmet fitting instructions below.
Step 1 - Size: Measure your head for approximate size. Try the helmet on to ensure it fits snuggly. While it is sitting flat on top of your head, make sure the helmet doesn’t rock side to side. Sizing pads come with new helmets; use the pads to securely fit to your head. Mix or match the sizing pads for the greatest comfort. In your child’s helmet, remove the padding when your child’s head grows. If the helmet has a universal fit ring instead of sizing pads, adjust the ring size to fit the head.
Step 2 - Position: The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead—one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow.
Step 3 - Buckles: Center the left buckle under the chin. On most helmets, the straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or shorten the chin straps. This task is easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments.
Step 4 - Side Straps: Adjust the slider on both straps to form a “V” shape under, and slightly in front of, the ears. Lock the slider if possible.
Step 5 - Chin Strap: Buckle your chin strap. Tighten the strap until it is snug, so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.
Step 6 - Final Fitting:
A. Does your helmet fit right? Open your mouth wide…big yawn! The helmet should pull down on the head. If not, refer back to step 5 and tighten the chin strap.
B. Does your helmet rock back more than two fingers above the eyebrows? If so, unbuckle, shorten the front strap by moving the slider forward.
Buckle, retighten the chin strap, and test again.
C. Does your helmet rock forward into your eyes? If so, unbuckle, tighten the back strap by moving the slider back toward the ear. Buckle, retighten the chin strap, and test again.
D. Roll the rubber band down to the buckle. All four straps must go through the rubber band and be close to the buckle to prevent the buckle from slipping.
Replace any helmet that has been involved in a crash or is damaged.
For more information on helmet fit, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site at: www.nhtsa.dot.gov