Do Helmets Prevent Concussions ?
It is an accepted fact that in any sport where the head is likely to be subjected to hard impacts, concussion is a very real danger. There are numerous such sports like football, motor racing -- both motorcycles and cars, skiing, ice-hockey, and cycling, to name a few.
The brain gets knocked around and is likely to get damaged when it knocks against the side of the skull. Concussions in sports are a common reality.
Going by statistics of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 concussions are experienced each year in both high school and college football.
While scientists are endeavoring to get more information on concussions, there is a marked move to reduce the incidence in football through better helmets.
So far, none of the three major football helmet manufacturers make any claim about reduction or prevention of concussion. In fact they are all agreed that a helmet offers protection, but no helmet is a guarantee against concussion.
It would seem that the years ahead will witness a sea change in helmet design. Helmets are now being made lighter and are padded with air bladders to reduce the impact. Other shapes mimic that of the head with an indentation at the rear and offer a titanium face mask.
With a view to concussion reduction, the results of Biokinetics study have been offered to all helmet manufacturers who have been urged by the NFL to rethink their design. Many manufacturers work in concert with a neuropsychologist.
Ongoing concussion studies are taking a new approach to education, prevention and post-concussion evaluation.
Prior to new tests, football deaths from head injuries averaged 38 per year which now stands at 1, according to research director for NOCSAE and an associate professor in orthopedics and engineering at Brown.
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