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Helmet Use

Always wear a helmet. You should wear a helmet regardless of your age or experience whenever you bike, skate, ski or participate in other activities in which your head is vulnerable to injury.

Wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of serious head or brain injury by 85 percent. Wear a helmet during every ride, no matter the distance you bike.

Children ages 5 to 14 have the highest injury rate of all bicycle riders. Bike accidents are a leading cause of death for children. In 2012, bike-related crashes killed 900 individuals and injured more than 532,000.

Safety Tips

    • Serve as a role model. Wear a helmet on every ride.
    • Purchase a new helmet after a crash. Even if the helmet appears fine, the interior may be damaged.
    • Talk to children about wearing a helmet when biking, skating, skiing and using a skateboard or scooter.
    • Your child is more likely to wear a helmet if he or she likes the way it looks.
    • Choose a helmet with the right fit. A helmet should be:
      • Snug: It does not slide from side-to-side or front-to-back.
      • Level: It should sit on top of the head, covering the top of the forehead and not tilt in any direction.
      • Stable: A chinstrap keeps the helmet from rocking. Replace a chinstrap is any part of the buckle breaks.
    • Use appropriate helmets for activities, such as a bike helmet for biking and a ski helmet for skiing.
    • Use lights and reflective gear, especially at dawn, dusk and night.

How to properly fit a helmet

Follow these tips:

      • Eyes: Put the helmet on your head and look up. You should see the bottom rim of the helmet.
      • Ears: Make sure the straps form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The straps should be tight but comfortable.
      • Mouth: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Does the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten the straps.

Sources: Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute: www.helmets.org, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov, OrthoInfo: www.orthoinfo.aaos.org, and Safe Kids Worldwide: www.safekids.org

Locations

Injury Prevention

For more information, please call MU Health Care’s injury prevention outreach program at 573-884-6381.

Nurses After Hours Contact

Nurses are available for after-hours health questions by calling Health Connect at 573-884-2401.