Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 5, 2012

Parents urged to make sure young bicyclists wear helmets

(Continued)

Compression injuries in bicycle accidents do not occur as often as impact injuries, but they can be devastating, the researchers say. They demonstrated that by using a pneumatic air cylinder.

Together the skull and helmet were placed on their sides on a platform underneath the pneumatic cylinder, and the cylinder was set at various loads of compression to identify the maximum load that could be sustained without damaging the skull. The test was repeated using the skull without a helmet and again using the helmet alone.

Standing up to 470 pounds

The helmeted skull was able to withstand a 470-pound force; the helmet alone displayed initial cracking at 100 to 200 pounds of force. Needless to say, disastrous consequences occur when that happens.

ed when the unprotected skull was subjected to a high compression load.

Based on the test results, Dr. Mattei, the lead author of this study, offers this advice to parents sending their children out to play on bicycles:

“Parents must be aware that it is their responsibility to provide and assure that all available safety measures are taken when allowing their children to participate in any kind of social activity or sport,” Mattei said. “Bicycling is not different.”

The best way to teach, he says, is by example. He suggests parents go bicycling with their children, making sure everyone -- adults and children -- is wearing a helmet.

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.

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