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December 23, 2015

Do Helmets Prevent Concussions?

concussion

According to CBC, Reebok-CCM has been told by the Competition Bureau that it cannot claim its hockey helmets prevent concussions. A Virginia Tech study found helmets don’t prevent concussions, though they will protect against skull fractures. Researchers assessed the effectiveness of helmets based on the rotational and linear acceleration that occurs in a concussion or brain injury.

In its warning to Reebok, the Competition Bureau stated the role of helmets and concussion prevention remains unclear. Reebok has agreed to remove concussion safety claims from all marketing material.

Reebok has also agreed to donate $475,000 in equipment to a Canadian charity that enables underprivileged children to play sports.

Why Don’t Today’s Helmets Prevent Brain Injuries?

According to our previous post, today’s helmets are not designed to protect against the rotational acceleration that can cause a concussion. Rotational impact occurs when the brain continues to move within the skull after impact. This can tear or stretch axons in the brain leading to symptoms commonly associated with brain injury or concussion. Researchers are looking at creating a helmet that will reduce the likelihood of concussion.

For more information

  • Reebok-CCM Told it Can’t Claim Hockey Helmet Protects Against Concussion, CBC
  • Bike Helmets Don’t Prevent Concussions, Slater Vecchio LLP