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Helmets for Children and Adults

Cycling is a popular fun activity not to mention a form of transportation for many individuals. A bicycle is considered a vehicle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA); this means a cyclist has the same rights and responsibilities to obey all traffic laws. HTA 104 states:

Every cyclist under the age of eighteen must wear an approved bicycle helmet. Parents or guardians shall not knowingly permit cyclists under sixteen to ride without a helmet. Set fine: $60.00

Although there are no helmet laws for adults there is not a doubt that wearing a helmet can ultimately save a person from incredible harm and possibly death.

A report by the Ontario coroner’s office (The Cycling Death Review) found that almost 75 percent of the 129 cyclists killed in Ontario between 2006 and 2012 were not wearing helmets. There is not a doubt that helmets save lives.

Many have argued that helmets are invasive and violate personal rights. Some have even said that when they grew up there were no helmets and “they did just fine”. Bottom line, this is a different world we live in now; more cars, more distracted drivers, and even many cyclists are distracted because they’re wearing ear buds.  The chances of an accident happening now versus many years ago have increased exponentially.  In fact, those who ride a bike without a helmet triple their chances of a fatality due to a head injury than those who wear a helmet. (The Toronto Star: Cyclists without helmets triple their chance of death by head injury. Oct. 15, 2012.)

There is not a doubt that helmets save lives, not just for children but for adults as well. They also help to prevent head injuries.

 

Choosing the Right Helmet

Cycling helmets come in three basic styles; multi-use, mountain and road.  A multi-use helmet is a great choice for not just cyclists but also inline skaters. (Skateboarders need a special type of helmet.)

Road helmets are preferred by those hard core cyclists because they have generous ventilation, have an aerodynamic design and they do not weigh much.

Mountain bike helmets are well-noted for the visors, ventilate well at low speeds, and there is enhanced rear-head coverage with a firm, secure fit for the rough terrain.

Hockey helmets are much different because they are designed to take several impacts. (They must be replaced if damaged and this includes loose fitting or missing liner pieces. If the helmet has undergone a severe blow then it should be replaced.)

 

Getting the Right Size

There is no “one size fits all” helmet that can be considered safe. A good fit is crucial. Even if a helmet is a single size it must be adjustable.

The best way to determine what size helmet is best for you is to measure your head. Wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest part of your head (this is about an inch above the eyebrows). Look for a helmet that matches your measurement.

 

Wear the Helmet Properly

Once you have a helmet that is the right size it will inevitably need some adjustments. When you make the adjustments the helmet should feel snug, not tight. It needs to sit level on your head (not tilted) and the front edge should not be more than one inch (width of two fingers) above your eyebrows.

 

When to Replace a Helmet

If there has been a crash in which the cyclist has hit their head then the helmet needs to be replaced. It is also recommended that helmets be replaced every five years. This is because the plastics on the helmet dry out and become brittle with age. After a crash in which the head was hit, the foam inside the helmet usually becomes compressed hence the reason for replacing it.

 

If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury and has not found relief then consider chiropractic care. Chiropractic care has made amazing advances over the years and there are many possible ways to treat symptoms from a head injury through our concussion management program.

Established in 2007 by Dr. Behfar Sanjari, Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has been committed to providing quality health care services to the Greater Toronto Area for over half a decade. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has qualified professionals who can help you. We have clinics located in Richmond Hill and Newmarket, visit Chiro-Med online or call 905-918-0419 or 905-235-2620 for more information.