Make Sure Your Bike Helmet Fits!

Biking is one of the great joys in life because it’s one activity that can instantly make you feel like a kid again. One thing that shouldn’t take away from that free feeling, is choosing to wear a helmet any time you’re on wheels. More importantly, make sure your bike helmet fits.¬† Physical therapists treat injuries all day, we can assure you that preventing injuries is far better than rehabilitating them.

Helmets Prevent Injuries: Safety First

The statistics supporting helmet use are compelling. A meta-analysis published by International Journal of Epidemiology analyzed 40 studies using data from 64,000 injured bicyclists. The results? Helmet use is associated with 51% reduced odds of getting a head injury, 69% reduced odds for a serious head injury, 33% reduced odds for face injury and 65% reduced odds for fatal head injury.

Helmet Fit

Assure a snug fit, it shouldn’t tilt side to side or front to back. The side straps should form a Y with the buckles just below the ears. The helmet should rest evenly on the head, just one or two finger widths above the eyebrows.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

  • Buy a helmet – make sure it’s certified by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Assure a snug fit
  • Wear a helmet any time you’re on wheels
  • Make sure the top of the forehead is covered by the helmet
  • Replace the helmet after a crash or every 3-5 years
  • Set an example – wear your helmet and encourage others to do the same

Don’t:

  • Think you have to buy the most expensive helmet, just make sure it’s certified
  • Wear the helmet loose so that it tilts in any direction
  • Wear a helmet after it’s been in a crash
  • Worry about it messing up your hair

Download this helmet safety poster here.

Resources:

Bicycle injuries and helmet use: a systematic review and meta-analysis