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10 tips for helmet safety

Published in Child Advocacy Services, For the Health of It  Author: Mackensey Stang, Injury Prevention Specialist

Each year approximately 600,000 people suffer from bicycle-related injuries that require hospital emergency room treatment — 250 of these children will die from bicycle-related injuries.

A helmet is the single most effective way to help reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes. Helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent. Approximately 75 percent of bicycle-related fatalities could have been prevented by wearing a properly fitted helmet.

Helmet safety tips

  1. Adopt the simple saying, “Use your head, wear a helmet.” Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled-sports activities.
  2. When skateboarding or long boarding, your child should wear a skateboarding helmet.
  3. Parents also should wear a helmet for every ride. Children learn from watching you so model proper behavior.
  4. When it is time to purchase a new helmet, let you children pick out their own; they will be more likely to wear them for every ride.
  5. Helmets should sit comfortably on the head all the way around, sitting level and stable enough to stay in place during violent shakes or hard blows.
  6. Rest the helmet level on the head, not tilted.
  7. Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under the ears when buckled.
  8. Have the strap underneath the chin fit comfortably snug.
  9. Secure the helmet to the point that twisting and tugging cannot remove it.
  10. Always replace a helmet after a crash. Damages may not be visible, but the foam can lose its integrity.

Facts and Figures are provided by the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota and the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.