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Monday Health Tip: Protecting Your Melon

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My bike helmet (credit: Dr. Dave Hnida)

My bike helmet (credit: Dr. Dave Hnida)

Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorOr more importantly, your child’s melon… or head.

I went for a bike ride this weekend, and was more than a little stunned at the number of grownups and kids spinning around without any head protection.

Here’s a visual for you: drop a cantaloupe on the sidewalk or street from a height of 3-4 feet. Watch it bounce and splatter. Then imagine your youngster’s head hitting the pavement — the effect can be the same.

Funny, seems like everyone is talking about head injuries in football. But the hard facts show the rate of head injury — mild to severe — is more than double for bike injuries than football.

Limit those numbers to children younger than 10 and the rate is quadrupled.

The point: what’s so hard about buckling up?

Here’s how to properly fit a bike helmet. Think eyes, ears, and mouth.

1. The distance between the eyebrows and the edge of the helmet should only be the width of two fingers.

2. The straps over the ears should form a nice, symmetrical “Y” shape.

3. The mouth should be able to open and close without difficulty … but when you attempt to spin a helmet on a head, it shouldn’t spin, but pull the skin.

Remember, a bike helmet won’t protect your kid’s valuable noggin if it’s not worn.

And 98 percent of kids whose parents wear a helmet will wear one themselves when the parents aren’t around.

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