Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Most Bike Helmets Worn Improperly

More People Wearing Them, but Wear Them Incorrectly

WebMD Health News

Aug. 4, 2003 -- More people are wearing helmets these days but are still putting them on incorrectly, a new study shows.

Head injury during recreational activities -- such as biking, skateboarding, or inline skating -- continues to be a leading cause of death. According to the researchers, there are 900 bicycle-related deaths per year in the U.S.; three-fourths of those are from head injury.

And researchers also say that wearing a helmet improperly significantly increases the risk of head injury. Their study appears in the August issue of Pediatrics.

Researchers asked parents to bring their child's helmet during their visit to the doctor. Two days before their visit, parents received mailed instructions on how to properly put on a helmet. During the doctor's visit, researchers examined helmet fit and condition based on four criteria:

  • Condition
  • Stability
  • Room
  • Strap

Only 4% of the 395 families taking part passed the entire evaluation of condition and fit of the helmets. The others fell short by either improperly strapping the helmet on, not having the helmet on tight enough, or allowing the helmet to rest too high on the forehead.

Researchers found that regardless of age, sex, level of education, or frequency of bicycle use, most people cannot properly fit a bicycle helmet - even in a controlled setting.

Improper fit puts people, especially children, more at risk for head injury. Though they say more people are using helmets, paying more attention to putting them on properly can help decrease the number of head injuries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following tips on properly fitting your child's helmet:

  • The helmet should be worn squarely on top of the head and should cover the top of the forehead. It should not be tipped back, exposing the forehead to injury.
  • A well-fitting helmet should not move around on the head or slide down over the child's eyes when pushed or pulled.
  • The helmet's chin strap should be adjusted to fit snugly.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy