Health Department encourages helmet and bike safety

Durham Region Health Department is encouraging area residents to wear their helmets properly this summer, in recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month and Bike to School Month this June.

According to Health Department research, there are over 900 emergency department (ED) visits each year in Durham Region due to cycling injuries, with ED visit rates higher for males. Children account for the highest percentage of ED visits, as almost one-in-five children between of 10 and 14-years old visited the ED in 2015 due to a cycling injury.

“Bicycle-related injuries can be greatly reduced with the use of helmets, as helmets are effective for cyclists of all ages and help to provide protection in all types of crashes,” said Rosalie Saynor, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “Helmets, when worn properly, can help to greatly reduce the risk of head injuries, and both brain and severe brain injuries.”

To see if your helmet fits properly, use the “2-V-1” rule:

  • Two fingers should fit above your eyebrow and below your helmet.
  • Two fingers form a “V” around the ear meeting at the bottom of the earlobe.
  • One finger should fit between the strap and your chin.

“There are helmets designed for all wheeled activities including skateboarding, inline skating and biking,” explained Saynor. “Make sure you wear the right helmet for your activity.”

For more information on helmet safety contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800 841-2729, or visit durham.ca/helmetsafety.

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