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ByBECCAHEATON PhotocourtesyofAbus T oo often cyclists especially kids are wearing their helmets the wrong way. Youve probably seen it the low-riding neck crawler where the back end of the helmet sits low on the base of the neck instead of on top of the head. Or gasp someone wearing their helmet backwards. Yep it happens. A properly fitted hel- met is essential to prevent head injuries resulting from a bike crash. Heres how Eyes The helmet should sit level on your head and rest low on the forehead one to two finger widths above the eyebrow. You should be able to see the very edge of your helmet looking up past your eyebrows. Mouth The buckled chinstrap needs to be loose enough that you can breathe easily. There should be enough room so you can insert a finger be- tween the buckle and chin but tight enough that if you open your mouth you can feel the helmet pull down on top. Ears The straps should be even and form a Y under the earlobe where the earlobe meets the head and should be snug against your head. Straps and buckles can loosen up over time so check them frequently. Protect Your Noggin Always buy a helmet that has the Consumer Product Safety Com- mission CPSC sticker on the interior. Avoid used helmets and inspect any helmet for cracks or damage. Helmets are good for just one crash. After a crash con- sider yourself lucky and replace the helmet. Expensive helmets are not nec- essarily safer but are often easier to adjust or have better venting. Old helmets might not meet the most current standards. Your local bike shop will have the best selection of childrens and adult helmets from entry-level to the newest styles for racing. How to fit a helmet just right plus fun new city helmets These tips come courtesy of Pima County and the City of Tucson. 26 BikeLife Seattle ByBECCAHEATON