Bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, Vespas- the wheels of summer. One of the biggest things you can do to stay safe is to wear the appropriate headgear for the sport. Now you may be saying: “When I was a kid, we never wore helmets and we were fine.” Indeed you may be fine but in all likelihood, you were just lucky.
Let’s talk about the brain. The most important system in your body is your nervous system- the brain is the commander in chief. Very soft and even small forces can have a demonstrable effect on your squishy grey matter up there. While protected by the skull, sudden shocks from hitting non-deformable objects like say, the ground not only create a fracture risk, they also introduce a huge damaging force to the brain with zero buffer. Ouch!
The helmet is designed to absorb and help to decelerate the forces minimizing the shock to the brain. This is important for the first hit and even more importantly any subsequent hits.
Of important note, traumatic brain injury doesn’t have to rear its ugly head immediately either. Functional issues can surface months and even years later in the form of depression, memory loss and cognitive difficulties. Helmets have been shown to decrease the permanent injuries associated with head trauma.
If you do happen to fall and hit the helmet, it is best to replace the helmet immediately. Most are designed for one major impact only due to the type of shock absorbing foam used. It is cheap insurance to protect the most valuable part of you. Please wear a helmet!