Healthier Together: How to properly fit and wear your bike helmet


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Wearing a helmet while riding a bike can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%. In this week’s Healthier Together we’re focusing on helmet safety and learning how to make sure you have the proper fit before you hit the road.

"We want to make sure the helmet itself is less than five years old the reason is the helmet will start breaking down over time sun sunscreen sweat all of that," said Amy Korver, community education manager with Cascade Bicycle Club.

Korver says it’s also important to make sure your helmet is certified safe by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"Then you want to make sure the helmet itself is not too big for your head this is a good fit you want the smallest one that will fit on your head," she said. "More people are riding all the time we just need to stay safe while we ride."

Dr. Drew Oliveira, senior executive medical director at Regence BlueShield, says safety is key as one of the biggest dangers cyclists face are traumatic brain injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2009 to 2018, there were nearly 597,000 bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States. In the same time period, males were three times more likely than females to end up in the emergency room for traumatic brain injuries.

"There are about 60,000 of those every year," Oliveira said. "In the last ten years there have been 600,000 incidents where people injured themselves on a bike, had to go to the emergency room or the hospital as the result of a head injury."

It’s also important to do a quick bike check before you hit the road. Make sure the tires have enough air, the brakes are working properly, and don’t forget to check the chain.

"I’m checking the noise that its making and that it’s not grading on anything so listen that sounds pretty good," Korver said.

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