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What's in a Helmet? Your Head.

Category: Patient Stories
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Approximately 41 percent of children ages 5 to 14 wear helmets while bicycling, rollerblading or riding on scooters. Of those, 35 percent do not wear helmets properly. This is important because head injuries account for 80 percent of all bicycle-related deaths.

Bicycling accounts for more emergency department visits by children and adolescents than any other recreational sport. A helmet that is undamaged and fits properly should provide head protection in most cases if the trauma is not extreme.

The helmet should fit snuggly, sit low on the forehead and parallel to the ground. The chin strap should be secure so that no more than two fingers can be inserted between the strap and chin. The helmet should not obscure vision or move with head movement.

Make sure your helmet has a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) label inside. It should meet the Snell Memorial Foundation or American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

Any damage to a helmet indicates that the helmet should be replaced.

While most emphasis is placed on the safety of children, helmets aren't just for kids. We emphasize children because they are our responsibility. Without a helmet, you may end up becoming your child's responsibility! Everyone should wear a helmet while bicycling or participating in other recreational sports with similar risks.