Health Watch -- Bicycling: Helmet Fit

 Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about safe bicycling. Many cities have laws requiring cyclists to wear helmets, and even if they don't, wearing a helmet makes good common sense. Helmets protect you from some head injuries and may reduce the severity of other kinds of head injuries. But to really protect you, that helmet has to fit you properly, and you have to wear it correctly.

Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, an avid cyclist who's also a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says the helmet's fit should be snug but comfortable. You may need to use the foam pads that come with the helmet to adjust the fit. The helmet should fit horizontally on your head so that the front comes to two fingertips above your eyes. The Ys of the side straps should meet just below the ears, and the chin strap should be snug enough that the helmet dips a little when you open your mouth.


June 2006

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