In New Jersey, minors must wear helmets while biking, skateboarding or roller/inline skating. Adults aren’t required by law to wear helmets, but they’re important and potentially life-saving.
Helmets help to protect the head when involved in many types of crashes or falls while engaged in active sports. Helmets are also research-proven to reduce the risk of serious injury and death.
“Some adults think they don’t need helmets because they’re proficient cyclists or skaters,” says Kevin Crutchfield, M.D., neurologist at Hackensack University Medical Center. “Even if you do everything right, something can always go wrong.”
These are five important reasons why you should wear a helmet:
Falls from bikes and collisions with cars may cause serious injury or death. Wearing a helmet reduces this risk.
A study published in 2018 found that bike helmets reduced:
Helmets are designed to absorb some of the power of an impact. Whether your head hits a road, tree or vehicle, you’ll experience less harm.
Helmets have hard exteriors, but the insides are soft, to cushion people’s heads. They can’t prevent concussion but may prevent serious brain injury.
“Concussions occur because the speed of impact makes the brain move within the skull,” Dr. Crutchfield says. “No helmet can stop the force associated with concussion, but it should reduce injuries.”
A brightly colored helmet may make you stand out more. Drivers may notice you from farther away, then give you room when passing by.
“By choosing a red, pink or fluorescent green helmet, you’ll catch drivers’ attention,” Dr. Crutchfield says. “Something colorful and fun that you love wearing makes you more visible.”
If you ride or skate at night, choose a helmet with reflectors. You’ll make it easier for drivers to spot you from a distance.
Some people need to ride their bikes, rain or shine, to get to work. Others are diehard exercise enthusiasts who never skip workouts because of the weather.
Helmets may help to protect you from different types of weather:
Do you eat vegetables and say “please” and “thank you” around your kids? Wearing a helmet is another way to model good behavior.
Kids listen to what parents say, but what they see may have greater impact. Wearing a helmet when you bike, skateboard or skate together sends the right message.
“Tell your kids that helmets are an essential piece of safety equipment,” Dr. Crutchfield says. “Remembering to wear yours when you ride together should encourage your child to follow suit.”
Safety experts want cyclists, skaters and skateboarders to know that:
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
Subscribe to get the latest health tips from our expert clinicians delivered weekly to your inbox.
Whether you’re a professional or recreational athlete, it can be tough to watch from the sidelines while you heal after a concussion.
It’s not always easy to know if someone has a concussion. Movies and pop culture sometimes portray the scene much more dramatically than what happens in real life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive some type of treatment for sports injuries every year.
Head injuries can be frightening, especially in children, so it’s important to know what to do if and when they happen. Even if you think it’s just a bump on the head, pay attention to your child’s cues.
Knowing the facts about post head injury seizures — and what to do if a seizure occurs — can help you or a loved one get proper treatment
It’s important to remember that brain injuries don’t just affect players in the NFL, NHL and other professional sports leagues.