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Bicycle Helmet Laws

Bicycle Helmet Law 

 In Ontario, it is mandatory for anyone under the age of 18 to wear a certified helmet while riding a bicycle (Highway Traffic Act).

It is also mandatory for children aged 10 and under or weak skaters of any age, to wear a certified multi-impact helmet at all city of Ottawa public skating sessions at indoor arenas.

Helmets are recommended for all ages while taking part in recreational activities like skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, sledding, skating, skiing and snowboarding.

How helmets protect your head

Helmets prevent serious brain and head injuries by absorbing the force from a fall or hit to the head. There are many types of helmets. Most helmets fit into one of the following categories:

  • Single Impact (example: bicycle helmets) – designed to protect against ONE impact; Must be replaced after a crash or hard hit, even if it does not appear to have any damage
  • Multi Impact (example: hockey helmets) – designed to protect against more than one impact; Must be replaced when you see damage
  • Multi Sport – does not mean multi impact but that the helmet is approved for more than one activity. Check the manufacturer’s label for the list of activities for which the helmet can be worn safely

 

What to look for, when buying a helmet

  • Check for the certification sticker – found on the inside or outside of the helmet
  • Buy a helmet that fits now not one to grow into
  • Never buy a used helmet

 

Choosing the right helmet

Activity

Recommended Helmet

Type of Protection

Certification
(Canadian, US, European)

Bicycling &
Non-motorized scooters

Bicycle helmet

Single impact

CSA, CPSC, ASTM or Snell

In-line skating

Bicycle helmet/in-line skating or
skateboard helmet

Mostly single impact

CSA, CPSC, ASTM or Snell

BMX cycling

BMX helmet

Multi impact

ASTM F-1492

Skateboarding

Skateboard or select bicycle helmet

Single/Multi impact

ASTM F-1492, Snell-94, CEN,
CSA, CPSC,ASTM or Snell

Ice hockey/ skating

Hockey helmet

Multi impact

CSA

Skiing & Snowboarding

Ski helmet

Single impact

Snell or CPSC

Sledding/tobogganing

Hockey or ski helmet

Hockey helmet – multi impact
Ski helmet – single impact
 

CSA, CPSC or Snell

 

 

 

How to fit a helmet

Bicycle helmets

Put the helmet on so that it is not tilting backward or forward. Then check the following:
 

Two fingers distance from helmet to eyebrow


V-shape straps around each ear


One finger between chin and fastened strap


Shake your head up and down, and side to side. Your helmet should stay in place and feel comfortably snug.
 

Hockey helmets

Put the helmet on so that it is not tilting backward or forward. Then check the following:

One finger between the chinstrap and chin



One finger distance from helmet to eyebrow



Helmet does not move



Shake your head up and down, and side to side. Your helmet should stay in place and feel comfortably snug.

 

Other sport helmets

  • Make sure the helmet is level on the head and not leaning forward or backward 
  • Adjust side and chin straps according to the manufacturer instructions
  • Shake your head up and down and side to side. Your helmet should stay in place and feel comfortably snug

When should I replace my helmet?

  • After a crash or large impact
  • When it does not fit anymore
  • Helmets with cracks, dents or frayed and torn straps should be replaced
  • Every five years after the manufacturing date for bicycle helmets 

 ** Information provided by ThinkFirst**

 




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