Health Watch -- Bicycling: Protecting Your Head

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 bicycling. A helmet is an essential piece of bike safety equipment, and you should wear one whenever you ride. But doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say you should be aware that helmets won't protect you from all head injuries.

Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says that helmets may protect against skull fractures, but closed-head injuries, such as concussions, may occur even if you wear a helmet. That's why it's important to not only wear a helmet, but to also bicycle safely. Children should stay off busy streets, and shouldn't dart in and out among parked cars. All cyclists should obey traffic laws. That means stopping at stop signs and signaling before making a turn.

Next: Making the helmet fit.

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June 2006

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