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Bike safety: Always wear your helmet

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Concussion

A concussion is a brain injury, usually caused by a blow to the head that affects how the brain works.

Read what you should know about concussions in sports.

a boy wearing a bike helmet smiles as he rides his dirt bike

Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Allina Health partners with Free Bikes 4 Kidz to help all kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood by providing bikes to those most in need. Allina Health gave copies of this video with free helmets to all who received bikes at the statewide Free Bikes 4 Kidz giveaway.

What you should know about concussions in sports

A concussion is a blow to the head that affects how the brain works.

Concussions can happen in free play, recreational sports, youth leagues, or in high school and college sports.

ImPACT™, a 20-minute computer test, would help your child in the event of a future concussion.

No one ever plans on having an accident. It's good to know that if you do, you're going to have your safety gear on.

Ben Utecht, former Minnesota Gopher and Super Bowl champion, shares the importance of wearing a helmet whenever you ride a bicycle. He also shows his kids how to wear their bike helmets.

Utecht's professional football career ended because of a concussion. This type of brain injury has become the biggest injury in sports over the last couple of years. Concussions can also happen during recreational activities like riding your bike.

A boy who just lost his front took, proudly shows how to wear a bike helmet correctly.

Photo © Allina Health System

Your child's bike helmet should sit level on top of his or her head.

A girl stands outside and looks to the left, showing how her bike helmet is positioned correctly above her ears.

Photo © Allina Health System

Make sure the straps of the bike helmet form a "V" shape under your child's ears.

Bike helmet safety for children

Riding a bike is a great activity to have fun and be active. It is important to always wear a bike helmet. It can help prevent injury or even death from a bike accident.

How to wear a bike helmet

Here is how to make sure your child is wearing a bike helmet the right way.

  • Is the helmet the right size?Your child's helmet should fit snugly. Make sure it doesn't move side to side. Some helmets come with sizing pads that can be used to make sure it fits your child's head.
  • Is the helmet in the right position? Your child's helmet should sit level on top of his or her head. The rim of the helmet should be one or two finger-widths above your child's eyebrows.
  • Have the side straps been adjusted? Make sure the straps of the helmet form a "V' shape under your child's ears. Adjust the sliders as needed.
  • Is the chin strap buckled? Buckle the strap and tighten it until it is snug. Make sure that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.

Bike helmet fit test

To make sure your child's helmet fits right, use this test:

  • Have your child open his or her mouth as wide as he or she can. Your child should feel the helmet hug or pull down on his or her head.

When to replace a bike helmet

Replace your child's bike helmet if it:

  • has been in a bike accident
  • is damaged from being used (such as cracked or dented).

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Bike Helmet Safety for Children, safe-ahc-14964 (Some information adapted from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department
First Published: 08/15/2011
Last Reviewed: 08/15/2011