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Simple advice about helmets and mouth guards: Wear them!

Whether you’re an avid cyclist, athlete or an average Joe or Jane, when it comes to helmets and mouth guards, University of Minnesota Physicians orthopedic specialist Heather Bergeson, M.D. ,C.A.Q., of TRIA Orthopaedic Center has some simple advice: Wear them!

Helmets help protect your head from structural damage so it’s important that they fit properly. Also, it’s important to have the right sport-specific helmet.

One common misconception about helmets is that they can prevent concussions. While they can’t reduce the risk of concussions entirely, helmets reduce the transmission of the force of the blow to the brain; they help prevent structural injuries such as skull fractures.

Mouth guards can also protect against injury by preventing against dental trauma. They can also provide structural support, but there is no evidence that they help prevent concussions, according to Bergeson.

But even though they can’t completely prevent concussions, helmets and mouth guards are certainly a great first step toward protecting yourself from other kinds of head injuries and facial trauma.

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En route to adult bike safety

Though many educational efforts for bicyclists are aimed to help children, when it comes to bike safety, it’s not just for kids.

Adult cyclists aged 16 or over accounted for around 89 percent of bicycle fatalities in 2010. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cycling related deaths in adults have significantly increased in the past few years.

The key to becoming a safe and suave rider comes from preparing and protecting yourself if you want to prevail on the street.

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