Consumer Reports: Taking care of your bike helmet

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Consumer Reports: Taking care of your bike helmet. Nydia Han reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on June 22, 2017. (WPVI)

With summer in full swing, that means it's also bike season.

Once you buy a bike helmet, you may think your part is done when it comes to protecting yourself while riding. But it turns out that's not the case.

Consumer Reports says you need to handle a bike helmet with care -- if you want it to take care of you when you need it most.

When Jackson went shopping with his dad for a new bike helmet, getting the right fit was top priority.

Proper fit is critical, but how they care for the helmet once they leave the store will also be important to keep Jackson safe.

"When you look at the majority of people who die in a bicycle accident, the most serious injuries are to the head," said Rich Handel from Consumer Reports.

Testers at Consumer Reports say caring for your helmet starts with where you store it. Find a shelf in your house or garage, where it's cool and dry. Never keep it in the car.

"It gets really hot in your car, especially in the summer. It could degrade the foam, compromise the integrity of the helmet, or structure," said Handel.

Clean it with good old, soap and water. Harsh chemicals like ammonia and bleach may damage the foam and the shell.

Be aware of any dents - even small ones mean the helmet has already absorbed some energy - making it less effective if you crash.

And, definitely replace a helmet after any crash. Whether it appears cracked, or not.

"A bicycle helmet is designed to take one impact. That's it. One," said Handel.

Consumer Reports says, you should also consider replacing a helmet that is more than five years old, even if it appears undamaged and has never been in a crash.

Some manufacturers even recommend replacing your helmet earlier than that.

And think twice before mounting a camera or anything else, on the helmet. It not only could damage the helmet, but it could also pose a risk if you crash.

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