Page updated: Wednesday April 11 2012
Helmets reduce the risk of injury
Wearing an approved bicycle helmet can greatly reduce your risk of permanent injury or death if you’re in a collision or fall from your bike.
A correctly worn helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by up to 85%.
Head injuries are the #1 cause of serious injury and death to kids on bicycles. All cyclists, regardless of age or biking experience, should wear a bike helmet when riding.
While wearing a helmet is important, it doesn’t replace safe riding skills, a safe bike and proper supervision.
How a helmet protects your head
If you fall from your bike and hit your head, your helmet will absorb the impact and spread it out over the whole helmet. Spreading the impact reduces the effect of the impact on the skull and brain.
Buying a bike helmet
Does your child’s helmet fit properly? Download our Check your bike helmet poster (PDF 63KB) to be sure.
Finding the right helmet fit
A poorly-fitting helmet won’t protect you from head injuries, so follow these guidelines for a proper fit:
- Helmets should fit level and snug on the head, two fingers above the eyebrows (helmet sizing pads can be used if needed).
- Helmet straps should come into a “V-shape” under the ear and fit snug. Only one finger should fit between the chin and chinstrap.
- High ponytails, baseball hats and ear phones should not be worn under a helmet.
Caring for your helmet
- You can use a helmet that isn’t impacted by a fall or collision for up to 5 years. A helmet that is hit with force might have damage that you can’t see, so you must replace it after any impact.
- Never paint or put stickers on your helmet: the chemicals from the paint or adhesive can corrode and weaken the shell.
- Use only mild soap and warm water to clean your helmet. (Some cleaners contain solvents that can damage a helmet’s shell.)
No helmet? Parents can be fined
Ontario law states that every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times while cycling.
Parents can be charged if they knowingly allow their children who are under 16 to ride without a bicycle helmet. The set fine is $60. Cyclists who are 16 or 17 can be fined directly.
- Choosing a bike |
- Cycling Equipment |
- What to wear and what to bring |
- Riding safely
- Helmets |
- Bicycle security |
- Cycling with children |
- Teaching children to cycle safely
- Where is it legal to bike? |
- Bicycles and Public Transit |
- Bicycle shops in Peel
- Overcoming the weather |
- Cycling and shopping |
- Bicycle Maintenance