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All helmets must comply with the safety standards of your own country. The European standard is CE EN 1078. So first of all carefully check that the helmet has the correct label. Then make sure it fits perfectly to your head (not too tight and not too loose). This means you have to wear it properly (which is not usually possible if the helmet is blistered as it might happen when displayed in supermarkets).
For sure carefully look at all details which are indication of the manufacturing care and quality as well as the reliability of the producer. Important details are also the user manual complying with the rules in force as well as the legal replacement warranty with its policy (numbered for each helmet and therefore personalised) in case of bicycle accidents. This is actually the manufacturer’s after sale assistance.
Since they are taken on a bike (on a child seat or trailer-bike) or when they are starting to ride a bike themselves. On this respect, stores sell children helmets starting from 44 cm head diameter. Important: pediatricians recommend to take a child on a child-seat only after completion of one year of age.
The helmet is not your ‘life insurance policy’ but international researches have pointed out that it has a variable protection effect. Knowing whether helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 88%, by 65% or by 50% (just to quote some data) is just important for statistics purposes and a secondary factor if we talk about prevention. The most important aspect is that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries!
The helmet cannot protect all your body, its task is to protect your head, the most vulnerable and delicate part. And even if the accident dynamics can cause head injuries, the helmet limits their gravity and prevents these injuries from becoming lethal.
First of all it must be perfectly adjusted and be properly fastened! Only following this rule it can offer effective protection, but unfortunately not everybody fastens it correctly. Among children the percentage of those who do not follow this rule is even higher.
When cycling, you sweat even without a helmet and even more if you wear a light cap! Comparing to any cap, the helmet has the advantage of air vents and if, when purchasing it, you have paid attention to its weight (information that must be indicated on each box containing the helmet or in any case inside it) you are almost not aware of wearing it!
The internal and external parts have to be cleaned just with soap and water. No use of solvents since they corrode the inner core and damage some helmets components.
Yes every time during a fall the helmet has suffered a strong shock, even if it does not look damaged. Each impact damages the material the helmet is made of, and your helmet cannot guarantee the same level of protection any more.
An old helmet does not protect you as a new one, since sun, rain, sweat and vibrations affect the protective qualities of the material. So you should replace your helmet after 5 years if you have worn it quite a bit.