October 23rd, 2020

Bike helmets protect riders of all ages


By Submitted Article on May 30, 2020.

Megan Burland

LETHBRIDGE COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES

My husband and I took off on our bicycles this recently, heading towards our usual route that circles the top of the coulees. We laughed as we approached the path because we knew that it was too busy to join.

We rerouted our ride to an area that wasn’t so busy, but I was struck by how many more people were out compared to our rides on that same path last spring. With the beautiful weather we’ve been having in southern Alberta, it’s been so nice to see so more families outside, being active together during this time.

Being that I work in injury prevention, I can’t help but feel worried when I see people ride past without a bicycle helmet. I am always puzzled when I see children wearing bike helmets, riding alongside their parents with no helmets. While I commend these families for ensuring their children are well protected with a helmet, I’m here with a gentle reminder that bike helmets are not just for kids! Bike helmets protect riders of all ages. One of the things we teach children in our injury prevention programming is that we typically don’t expect something like a bike crash to happen – incidents like these are most often unpredictable. You must do all you can to mitigate the risks associated with whatever activity you are doing.

Set a good example this spring and make time as a family to ensure that you all have properly fitted helmets to keep you safe.

Use the 2V1 approach when fitting your helmet:

2 – Check that the front edge of the helmet rests about 2 finger widths above your eyebrows.

V – Adjust the side straps to form a “V” just below and in front of your earlobes.

1 – Do up the chinstrap nice and snug, so that you can only fit 1 finger-width between your chin and the chinstrap.

Other tips to ensure your helmet will properly protect you:

– Replace your helmet after five years or after a crash.

– Don’t wear anything like a baseball hat under your helmet, as this can compromise the fit.

– Ensure you are using the right type of helmet for the activity you are doing.

Parachute provides a wealth of knowledge on many injury prevention topics, including cycling safety. Visit https://parachute.ca/en/injury-topic/cycling/ to read more about what you can do protect everyone in your family from being injured while cycling.

Last but not least: Before you take off on your ride, please ensure you are following the most up-to-date public health orders on how to stay safe outdoors during COVID-19. Visit https://www.alberta.ca/

coronavirus-info-for-albertans.

aspx for more information.

Megan Burland is a Health Promotion Facilitator at Lethbridge Community Health Services and can be reached at Megan.Burland@ahs.ca.

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