Healthy Living: Staying safe and protected this summer

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 8:34 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Summer in Alaska means people are itching to get out and about. If that’s on a bike or a boat, there are some safety measures to think about and this isn’t just for the kids — adults need to make sure they’re being safe too.

When it comes to helmet safety, you want to ask yourself, does it fit properly and do you have the right helmet for the type of activity you’re doing?

Sara Penisten Turcic with Safe Kids Alaska said bicycle helmets are designed to protect the frontal part of the head and side. You also want to wear your bike helmet straight on your head, just two fingers above the eyebrows.

Turcic said many helmets are adjustable, so make sure it’s a comfortable, yet a snug fit. For other types of activities like skateboarding and rollerblading, you want a multi-sport helmet as it’s designed to protect more of the back of the head.

“We want to keep everyone’s brain safe because we all have a brain and it’s one of the parts of the body that we can’t put a cast on to help it heal,” she said. “Once brain damage occurs, it’s typically permanent and we don’t want that to happen.”

Alaska waters, as beautiful as they are, are cold and the rivers run fast. Turcic said a life jacket should fit snug and make sure to secure all the clips before you get in the water.

Also, check for tears, missing straps or exposed foam. If you find any, that means it’s time to toss the life jacket and get a new one.

If you frequent some of the state’s lakes, there are hundreds of Kids Don’t Float loaner stations. People are encouraged to use them on or near the water.

There’s a bike helmet ordinance within the Municipality of Anchorage that requires helmets for riders age 15 and under in public places.

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