Protecting Your Noggin

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line of four bikes in grass with helmets on the handel bars

Subject: Discuss the importance of bike helmet safety while enjoying your summer and reducing the stigma.

Happy Summer!  This Summer specifically people are having a harder time finding ways to have fun while respecting COVID-19 guidelines.  I love cycling, it is one of my favorite summer activities that is also great for your body.  In the words of theBombJopCOM co-founder Michael โ€œI like biking, itโ€™s healthier for you than walking but sucks less than running.โ€  I agree, and while I encourage everyone to hop on a bike, I also want to encourage everyone to stay safe while doing so by wearing a bike helmet!

The Facts

The Cleveland Clinic in 2019 states each year in the USA 800 cyclists are killed with โ…” of deaths involving the head and face while another 500,000 end up in a hospital emergency room with โ…“ of those injuries being related to the head and face.  Different studies will show that wearing a helmet can reduce risk of head injury between 65% and 85%

Protecting Yourself

Look at these smart, healthy humans enjoying a nice bike ride

I think logically it is in our best interests to wear a bike helmet because while you may be a great cyclist, accidents happen. Additionally, you canโ€™t control other cyclists or automobile drivers around you.  Yet according to the National Safety Council and the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2016, more than half of adults report not wearing a bike helmet.  Growing up I remember hating the fact my parents made me wear a helmet, it wasnโ€™t cool and I didnโ€™t like the way it fit tightly under my chin.  Around high school I stopped biking as much and the thought left my mind but I remembered seeing friends wearing helmets and wondering why they still did so.  One of my friends now even confessed that a kid at their school recorded a video of my friend riding their bike with a helmet on, nothing more than that, and it was sent around to other kids and he was made fun of for it.  Thatโ€™s unbelievable.

Protecting Others

Such a stylin’ red bike and matching helmet combo

Living in a family-oriented neighborhood, I see many children biking as well as myself.  By wearing a bike helmet as I ride around my neighborhood, I hope to normalize its use to help move kids away from the idea that wearing a helmet isnโ€™t cool, or at the very least promote the mindset that your individual safety is more important than any perceived lack of coolness.  I want to do my part to keep children safe, which is a huge factor in leading by example. While my chin strap might still fit a smidge too snug, I feel better believing I am promoting healthy habits in my community.

Picking Your Helmet

When selecting a helmet, remember that you want the helmet to fit snugly around your head while also staying level, not tipped up or down too much.  To check that your helmet is level, when you look up you should barely be able to see the rim of the helmet.  Your helmet should also be stable, resisting forcible shaking of the head.  Additionally, check for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker on the inside of your helmet.

Sources:

Chadra, K. (2019, May 6). Bicycle Safety Statistics May Surprise You. Retrieved July 11, 2020, from https://www.nsc.org/safety-first-blog/bicycle-safety-statistics-may-surprise-you

Bicycle Helmet Safety. (2019). Retrieved July 11, 2020, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/4374-bicycle-helmet-safety

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