August 7, 2013
Every year in Nova Scotia adults and children suffer head injuries related to activities where, in most cases, helmets weren't worn.
Many summer activities like bicycling and rollerblading require a helmet to be worn. Activities that require a helmet for safety but aren’t as commonly used include skateboarding, riding a scooter and horseback riding.
Each type of helmet is designed to protect the head from injuries associated with specific activities. Only wear a helmet approved for the activity you are participating in. Be sure to replace your helmet after an impact and after two to three years of use, depending on wear. Your helmet should fit your head properly and should be fastened at all times during the activity.
Being experienced at an activity or sport doesn’t reduce the risk for injury. Often there is insufficient time to break your fall from an upright position. A helmet is most often the only thing preventing you from a life-altering event.
Head injuries can range from bruises and concussions to paralysis and death. Injuries can happen at any time and to anyone. By wearing a helmet we can protect ourselves and focus on having fun.
Physicians recognize the need to ensure that Nova Scotians have the most effective helmets possible and remain committed to raising awareness around helmet safety.
While injuries can’t always be prevented, we need to make sure that we take the necessary precautions when being active and make safety a priority. While being active this summer, use your head and wear a helmet.
Mike Fleming, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP