Toronto Helmet Initiative

A group of not-for-profit organizations, dedicated to promoting the proper use of bike helmets. Our goal is to reduce head injuries from cycling by encouraging people to wear a properly fitted helmet.

Toronto Police Service: Bike Helmet Video

Educational video on bike helmet safety that
highlights how to fit bike helmets properly by
using the 2-V-1 rule.

Helmet Safety Video: Always Wear your Helmet

SickKids Hospital, Toronto Polices Services and the Toronto Catholic District School Board discuss the importance of always wearing a helmet. 

To learn more about the 2-V-1 rule, please check out Fitting a Helmet Properly below, or see the following poster or bookmark.


It’s your head. Use it.

Active transportation is a great way to get outside, have fun and stay healthy. Remember to stay safe while enjoying wheeled activities. A head injury can permanently change the way a child walks, talks, plays and thinks. Wearing a helmet will help protect your head.

Children and youth under 18 are required by law to wear a helmet when cycling in Ontario. Toronto Public Health encourages all people participating in wheeled activities (bikes, scooters, inline skates/roller blades, skateboards) to wear a helmet, regardless of age.

Wear a helmet and be a good role model!

All helmets fit differently. Here are a few tips to help you properly fit a helmet.

For bicycle helmets

Also worn for in-line skating, riding a non-motorized scooter or when using shoes with wheels. Know the 2-V-1 rule.


  • Put the helmet level on the head, not tilting backward or forward
  • Helmet should cover the top of the head and sit 2 finger-widths above your eyebrows
  • Adjust the fit of the helmet by adding or repositioning the foam pads
  • Move the dial or other fitting devices so it fits snug

boy demonstrating instruction 2 of 2V1 helmet instructions.


  • The side straps should meet to form a V below each ear
  • If your helmet tilts back, tighten the front straps. If your helmet tilts forward, tighten the back straps

boy demonstrating instruction V of 2V1 helmet instructions.


  • Fit 1 finger between chin and fastened strap

boy demonstrating instruction 1 of 2V1 helmet instructions.

For all other sport helmets

  • Put the helmet level on the head, not tilting backward or forward
  • Adjust the side and chin straps according to the manufacturer’s instructions

All helmets should fit close to your head. Shake your head up and down and side to side. The helmet should not move.

Single impact helmets

  • picture of a children wearing a single impact helmetThese helmets are designed to protect the head from a single hard fall
  • Be sure to replace helmets after a crash or hard hit. Even if you cannot see any damage, they should be replaced
  • Bicycle helmets are an example of a single impact helmet and can be used for bicycling, in-line skating, riding a non-motorized scooter or when using shoes with wheels

Multi-impact helmets

  • picture of a children wearing a multiple-impact helmetThese helmets are designed to protect the head from more than one crash
  • Hockey helmets are an example of a multi-impact helmet and can be used for hockey, ice-skating and tobogganing

Multi-sport helmets

  • Multi-sport helmet meets safety standards for more than one activity
  • Be sure the multi-sport helmet clearly states what activity it has been tested for. If you are not sure, contact the manufacturer
  • Helmets should be purchased according to the child’s age. If a child is under one year of age, please check with a doctor or other health care provider
  • Try to purchase a brightly coloured and reflective helmet that will be easy for drivers to see
  • Look for a helmet that fits comfortably and meets safety standards label. An approved standards label certifies that the helmet design has been tested by the manufacturer to protect your head.
  • Check the inside of the helmet for a standards label such as:
    • CSA (Canadian Standards Association)
    • Snell (Snell Memorial Foundation)
    • ANSI (American National Standard Institute)
    • American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
    • British Standards Institute BS 6863:1989
    • Standards Association of Australia AS 2063.2-1990
    • CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

For more information on choosing the right helmet for your activity, visit Parachute Canada.

  • Never buy a used helmet
  • Never use a bike helmet that has been in a crash, even if you can’t see any damage
  • Replace a helmet:
    • At least every five years
    • If you see any damage like cracks, worn or torn straps
  • Do not store helmets in direct sunlight or in a hot vehicle
  • Caregivers should help children practise putting on their helmet and check the fit each time. Know the 2-V-1 rule
  • To prevent choking never let children wear a helmet on playground equipment
  • Avoid putting stickers on a helmet. Stickers can interfere with the helmet’s ability to slide smoothly in the case of a crash. Stickers can also weaken the outer shell
  • Do not wear a baseball cap, bandana, hair clip, or ponytail under a helmet, as it could change the way a helmet fits
  • Be consistent. Follow a “No Helmet, No Bike” rule. Do the same for other activities/sport