Great Health Tip of the Day: Wear Your Helmet When Cycling

August 18, 2012

No matter what a safe rider you are, accidents are bound to happen. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce head injuries by 85 – 88%, yet only 36.5% of Utahns wear a bicycle helmet. Protect yourself by wearing a helmet every time you ride your bike.  Here are some tips for choosing a helmet:

  • Make sure the helmet you purchase has a seal of approval from an organization such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.  A seal from one of these organizations shows that the helmet you are choosing has met safety standards.
  • Make sure your helmet fits well.  Your helmet should fit snugly and should not move more than one inch in any direction.  The sizing pads that are included with helmets may help with this, but make sure you choose the right size.
  • Check for visibility; can you see and can you be seen?  Is anything blocking your vision (including on the sides) and is your helmet white or brightly colored to help others see you?

References

  • Utah Department of Health (2009).  Bicycle helmet use in Utah.  Accessed at:  http://health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/FactSheets/factSheet_BicycleHelemet_8-20-09_FINAL.pdf
  • Mayo Clinic (2010).  Bicycle helmet do’s and don’ts.  Accessed at:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bicycle-helmet/HQ00324