Properly fitting a bike helmet to prevent head injury
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
ELY (KWWL) -
With summer almost here, many families may be tuning up their bikes and getting ready to ride together. Before riding it's important to have all the right equipment, especially a helmet.
The Bildstein family likes to ride bikes together. Since the young girls are growing, they need new bike helmets. They know it's important to always have one on when they ride.
"If you're riding and your bike accidentally flips over you could get hurt really bad," said Katlyn Bildstein, of Ely.
So the girls went to the Ely Fire Department for new, free helmets. Even their parents were able to get new head protection.
"We might as well show them a good example of what we should be doing when we're riding bikes," said Tonia Bildstein.
The fire department was approached by the Linn County Safe Kids Coalition. Each of the firefighters learned how to properly fit a helmet, so they could help out their community.
"You want to make sure it's not real loose, but not real tight on a person," said Randy Zbanek, Ely Fire Chief.
There's a few other things to look for as well.
You should be able to fit two fingers between the bottom of the helmet and the eyebrows.
On the side of the helmet, the straps should fit in a "V" around the ears.
The strap should tightly fit under the chin.
The helmets were paid for by the Lizard King Bicycle Club in Cedar Rapids who know that helmets reduce the risk of head injury during a crash by nearly 90 percent.
"We've had people fall being on accidents on RAGBRAI," said Rick Blackwell, Lizard Kings. "I myself have had a rib broken. All that happened was my helmet cracked and I ended up getting a new helmet. I can't imagine what would have happened if, to any of us, if we wouldn't have had our helmets on."
That's why the group wants to see more people wearing helmets.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more children ages 5-14 go to the hospital for bike accidents than for any other sport.
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