Helmets: They Can Save Your Life
There are so many sports in which you can, and should, use a helmet. From biking to horse riding to skiing, helmets play an important role in keeping us safe.
While we typically put helmets on our children, adults aren’t so quick to wear them, but we should. Helmets can significantly reduce your likelihood of serious or fatal head injuries, because they absorb the much of the force of the impact. Most helmets contain a hard foam inside the core, which crushes upon impact. The outside of the helmet is slippery, making it skid to reduce some of the impact. The shell also holds the inner foam in place around your head. The strap around your chin holds everything in place, protecting your head.
Choosing a helmet that fits is very important. A helmet should be tight enough to stay in place when you nod your head, but shouldn’t be so tight that it causes a headache. Helmets should also sit level on your head and low on your forehead, one or two finger widths above your eyebrows. This way, your forehead is protected but your vision isn’t impeded. The side straps, if in V formation, should form the V slightly in front of the ears. The chin strap should be as tight as you can comfortably wear it, allowing for no more than one or two fingers to fit underneath it.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, at least 71 of the 161 riders killed during 2017 were not wearing a helmet. But motorcyclists aren’t the only ones who can wear a helmet to greatly reduce their risk of brain injury or death. Here is a list of several other sports in which a helmet can save your life if you are hit or if you fall:
- horse riding
- ice skating
- roller skating
- hang gliding
- ice hockey
- rock climbing
- riding recreational vehicles
As summer approaches, more and more Arizona residents will be out recreating. For example, many families might allow their children to take a pony ride. Make sure the stable offers helmets for you to borrow. Many will also enroll in sports. Talk to coaches about what special protective equipment to buy, and have someone at the sporting goods store help you make sure it fits. If you go on an ATV ride, don’t leave without a properly fitting helmet. And if you’re an adult, remember that you should wear a helmet too, not only to protect yourself, but to set a good example for all the children around you.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer