By On February 1st, 2013

Helmets Don’t Protect Against Brain Injury As Well As They Claim

The most common suggestion for preventing head injury is to wear a helmet. Even in the NFL, the biggest push in traumatic brain injury prevention is coming from helmet designers who believe their products do better than all others to keep brains safe. Too bad there is no proof that any helmet can prevent concussions.

All of the new companies pushing their helmets will tell you otherwise. They all make nearly magical sounding claims that with their helmet no professional athlete has had a concussion. That really does sound great, but it flies in the face of all the real information. ABC Nightline noticed how many companies were making these unfounded claims and their findings are exactly the same as the brain injury experts have been saying.

To understand why these helmets aren’t able to cut down on the number of concussions, especially in athletes using them, it is important to understand that traumatic brain injuries can occur without any direct impact t the head. Just the abrupt stopping of momentum that happens during any fall or collision can rattle the brain enough to create a case of TBI.

Helmets are intended to cushion that sudden stop of motion, giving the head enough padding to not harshly shake the brain, but the results suggest that you just can’t put enough padding into a helmet for that method to really be effective.

These facts hold especially true for athletes who take the hardest knocks, but it doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t be wearing a helmet while skateboarding. Helmets can prevent much more direct injuries, and they do prevent some brain injuries, to an extent. The problem isn’t that helmets don’t help. It is that they don’t help enough to protect the pros and even college or high school level athletes, and the helmet makers are more than happy to mislead you on that information.

One Response

  1. Michael Anthony says:

    Extremely important article. Helmets do not prevent brain injury in any circumstance. In fact, helmets might give an athlete a false sense of security, causing more brain injury in the long run…

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