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Summertime calls for outdoor activities such as biking, skating, and waterskiing.
Dr. Jordan Knox, a primary care physician, shares the number one way to have fun while protecting your head: wearing a helmet.
Always wear a helmet
Wearing a helmet may seem excessive, but Dr. Knox says is the number one way to prevent head injuries.
According to Dr. Knox, a helmet should be worn anytime you move faster than you can run. This includes when biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and even participating in water sports such as water skiing and wakeboarding.
He emphasizes that one important feature of helmets is that they are designed to break as they absorb the force from an impact.
“They break so that you don’t,” he says.
Because of this, it’s important either to replace your helmet or have it inspected by a professional after an accident to ensure it is still protective.
Before replacing your helmet, however, find one that fits properly.
Choosing the right one
A properly fitted helmet should sit just above your browline and be snug but not tight or constricting. To determine if your helmet is too big, push it from side to side. If you can move it an inch or more in any direction, go down a size.
While all helmets consist of an outer shell and inner padding, some helmets have additional protection. The most common protective technology in helmets is MIPS or Multi-directional Impact Protection System. MIPS works by shifting slightly inside the helmet after an impact to absorb some of the force and redirect it away from your brain.
Along with fit and added protection, choosing the right helmet for your activity is another way to stay safe. Some helmets are made for casual biking while others are made for more extreme activities, such as mountain biking and racing where crashes are more likely to happen.
Before heading out the door this summer to bike along your favorite trail or try out your new roller skates, always make sure you wear your helmet.
“You only get one brain,” says Dr. Knox, “so you’ve got to protect it.”
Although helmets greatly reduce your risk of injury, accidents can still happen.Find care
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