While everyone knows that they should wear a helmet when riding a bike, not everyone does because helmets can be hot and uncomfortable. But that doesn’t mean that’s a valid excuse to avoid wearing one. According to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, wearing a bike helmet can make the difference between walking away from a fall unharmed, and being in the hospital with a serious head injury.
Helmets protect you in a few different ways: they help the head slow down more gradually instead of hitting the ground quickly; they spread the impact over a larger area of your head, which helps you avoid a severe injury; and they prevent a direct hit on the skull, which can result in a fracture or worse.
Helmets can be either single use, where once you fall, you need to replace the helmet, or multi-use, which is a relatively new category and can be worn through a number of crashes and often for different sports. When buying a helmet, be sure to check the safety certification sticker on it so you know what sports it is certified for.
One important thing to remember is that helmets do not protect against every type of injury. You can still get a concussion when wearing one because the brain can still bounce around within your skull when you crash. That being said, you still have a far better chance of escaping serious injury with a helmet than without one.
One important thing to remember is the correct way to wear a helmet. The best one in the world won’t work properly if you’re not wearing it properly. Here’s a quick tip to help you remember:
2: The front of the helmet should be two finger widths above the brow, not high on the forehead.
V: The straps should be in a V-shape around both ears.
1: One finger should fit between the chin strap and your chin.