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.
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
- 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
- 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.