Are Bike Helmets Really Necessary?

Person with a gash on his knee after falling off bicycleI live in a kid-filled neighborhood.  And I am often surprised, and scared, to see how many kids ride around without helmets.

Every year, 300,000 kids go to the ER because of bike injuries.

10,000 of those kids have to stay in the hospital for several days

I want to talk a bit about bike helmet safety.

Unlike car seats which you can kind of graduate from, no one graduates from wearing a bike helmet.

  • a baby or toddler riding in a seat on an adult’s bike or in a trailer should have a helmet on
  • kids riding bikes or scooters should wear helmets
  • and yes, adults riding bikes or motorcycles should wear helmets too

There are some things you should do to get the most out of your helmet:

  • check to make sure that it meets the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission – there will be a sticker on the helmet
  • make sure it fits – it shouldn’t be tight or loose
  • if you don’t know, ask someone at a bike store
  • always buckle the strap
  • don’t wear a hat under the helmet
  • be careful with it, don’t throw it on the ground when you are done
  • if you have fallen and the helmet has hit the ground, get a new one
  • to be extra safe, have a reflector on your helmet

Of course, wearing a bike helmet does not mean you can be reckless – it doesn’t mean you will be fully protected.  But it does give you a pretty good chance of walking away from a bike crash without a serious head injury.