Grown-Up Cyclists Need Helmets, Too

Ruby Washington/The New York Times Catherine Talese always wears a helmet on her bike rides throughout New York.
Today’s Patient Money column explains what to look for when buying a bike helmet, essential armor for adults as well as children.
Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injuries by up to 88 percent and facial injuries by 65 percent, according to a Cochrane Database Systemic Review published in 2000. Bike riders who play against those odds do not fare well in accidents. More than 90 percent of the 714 bicyclists killed in 2008 were not wearing helmets, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety….
Wearing a helmet sets a good example for other riders and for children.
“We see plenty of kids in our trauma center who say they have helmets at home,” said Dr. Beth Ebel, director of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle. “The biggest problem with kids is getting them to wear their helmets consistently.”
Adam Bluestein, who has two children and lives in Burlington, Vt., never rides without a helmet. “I want my kids to know that always riding with a helmet is important. Now when we see people riding without a helmet, it’s like seeing someone smoking a cigarette — the kids practically gasp in horror. ‘How could someone do something so unsafe?’ ”
To learn more, read the full column, “Grown-Up Cyclists Need Helmets, Too,”