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September 12, 2017 10:03 PM

Bike Helmets Don't Prevent Concussions, Do Provide Vital Protection

Sioux Falls

Studies show that crashes while bicycling are among the leading causes for concussions. Only bike helmets may not offer the protection you might think. 

It's not cool... 

"Peer pressure...don't wanna wear it...it's just...not cool," 13-year-old bicycle rider Kale Ask said. 

...to wear a bike helmet. 

"This, through their eyes, is not needed," Ask said. 

13-year old bike rider, Kale Ask, wears one anyway. 

"I think it's essential," Ask said. 

When he hits the trails, he straps up first. 

"Head injuries, you have to protect your melon," Ask said. 

Mechanics at Spoke-N- Sport know their stuff when it comes bike riding, including the importance of a helmet. 

One important thing to remember they say, is that helmets have a shelf life. 

"Three to five years. So, the 10-year old helmet in the back of the closet probably isn't going to cut it," bike mechanic Tuesday Frankus said. 

Frankus says a damaged helmet can't protect the same way a new one will. 

"After a spill or a fall, just without question get a new one. It's the cheapest life insurance there is," Frankus said.

Frankus says it doesn't matter how much you spend, either. A $100 helmet will protect the same way a $40 helmet will. 

Sanford Sports Science Institute Director Thayne Munce says the causes for concussions can vary and every sport carries its own risk.  

"There are a lot of activities. like bike riding, that have a lot of health benefits. But there are also some risks of injury," Sanford Sports Science Institute Director Thayne Munce said.

It may surprise you to hear that wearing a bike helmet won't prevent a concussion.  

"Bike helmets can protect some of the more serious head injuries and brain injuries that occur if you get into a bike accident, but bike helmets aren't meant to prevent concussions," Sanford Sports Science Institute Director Thayne Munce said. 

"Initial trauma, I guess. They do take the big brunt of force. So you might still concuss, but you're not going to crack your skull," Frankus said. 

At the bike trail along Yankton Trail Park, you'll find a lot of bikers.
John DeMore likes to hit the trails for some fresh air. 

"Bike trails are beautiful today. I try to get out as much as possible," bike rider John DeMore said. 

He admits he doesn't wear a helmet. 

"I never ride my motorcycle without a helmet, no. But when it comes to bicycle helmets...I don't have" DeMore said. 

DeMore says he feels safer on the trails. 

"There aren't any motor driven vehicles of any sort," DeMore said. 

Brian Johanson-Sebera is enjoying his day on the trails, too. 
Johanson-Sebera has three kids. Wearing a helmet before you ride is a house rule. 

"I think most of the time, they get a hang for it. Especially my three-year-old, who generally all the time just runs for his helmet when he wants to get on a scooter," father Brian Johanson-Sebera said. 

Johanson-Sebera says his kids are too young to worry if whether it's "cool" to wear a helmet. 
He's hoping to create good habits now, so his kids don't worry about being "cool" later. 

If you do take a fall wearing a bike helmet, it's important to monitor yourself for the signs of a concussion. 

And if you're having a hard time getting your kids to wear a helmet, Spoke N Sports mechanics say that they see more kids wanting to wear a helmet when their parents wear one, too. 

© 2017 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.


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