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Recreational Helmets

NOVEMBER 07, 2006

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is participating in voluntary standards activities related to recreational helmets and headgear. Staff is participating in ASTM F08.53 Headgear Subcommittee activities to develop requirements and guidelines for recreational helmets. The subcommittee currently maintains several standards for headgear/helmets for a variety of sports, including biking and mountain biking, roller skating, skateboarding, snow sports, baseball, football, and soccer.

In 1994, Congress directed CPSC to develop a mandatory safety standard for bike helmets to replace multiple voluntary standards. Beginning in February 1999, all bike helmets manufactured or imported for sale in the United States are required to meet a federal safety standard set by CPSC. The standard ensures that bike helmets adequately protect the head and that chin straps will be strong enough to prevent the helmet from coming off in a crash, collision or fall. In addition, the standard requires that helmets intended for children up to age five cover more of the head to provide added protection to the more fragile areas of a young child's head. Bicycle helmets must also carry a label stating that they meet CPSC's safety standard.  

Additional Information

Safety Alerts:

Incident Data:

Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:

CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:

Mandatory Standards:

ASTM International

  •  For further information concerning standards for recreational helmets and headgear, contact Katharine Morgan at or ASTM International at

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