You may have heard the debate raging about contact sports and concussions. Or, you may wonder if you need to strap on a helmet every time you ride your bike. Many people have this question on their minds: do helmets prevent concussions?
For comprehensive concussion treatment, let Integrated Injury specialists take a look!
Helmets Do Not Prevent Concussions
When you hit your head in an accident, your brain can move within your skull. If the brain gets jolted hard enough, it can bang into the hard bone of your skull and cause a concussion.
Helmets do not prevent concussions. No helmet can prevent the brain from moving inside the skull. Some new helmets claim to be “special” in that they can prevent concussions. But these claims are not backed by science. No matter how much you pay for a helmet, it cannot protect your brain from moving when jolted.
Why You Should Still Wear a Helmet
Always wear a helmet when biking, skiing, and playing sports that can cause head injuries. Helmets can protect your head from other injuries, like cuts and skull fractures. Always wear one if you might hit your head against the ground, a hard object, or another person.
How to Choose a Good Helmet
Some things to look for when shopping for a helmet:
- The helmet is approved by your sport’s governing body
- It is appropriate for your sport (motorcycling, biking, football, etc.)
- The helmet has not been damaged (it’s a good idea to buy a new helmet over repurposing a used one)
“All Helmets Are Not Created Equal”
According to Nicole Levy MD, a primary care sports medicine specialist at Rush University Medical Center, you should be careful when choosing a helmet. “There are different helmets for different activities.” Depending on what sport you play, there is a specific helmet designed to protect you. So, if you play football, a bicycle helmet is not appropriate.
“Some helmets can be worn for multiple activities, but don’t assume,” says Levy. “Check the manufacturer’s instructions for guidelines before buying a helmet.”
The Size of the Helmet Matters
A helmet should sit comfortably on the head, but be snug. It should not move in any direction when strapped on. Also, it should sit evenly on the head. It should sit correctly without too much adjustment. If a helmet requires significant adjustment, find another one that fits better.
Any good helmet will have a secure buckle to keep it from shifting or falling off on impact.
Helmets for Kids
Dr. Levy says you should be “consistent and firm” about having your child wear a helmet. “Parents should lead by example and always wear their helmets.”
What about carrying your infant or toddler in a strapped-on seat while bike riding? The American Academy of Pediatrics says children under 1 year of age should not be on bicycles at all. “Even though baby-sized helmets are available, they are not advisable,” says Levy.
What To Do if You Get a Head Injury
A head injury is any trauma to the scalp, skull, or brain. Head injuries range from a minor bump on the skull to serious brain damage. [medlineplus.gov.]
If you hit your head while playing sports, sit out the rest of the game and consult a doctor afterward. You may also sustain a head injury doing another sport, like skiing. Bike and motorcycle injuries often involve the head.
The experts at Integrated Injury Specialists recommend patients receive a thorough consultation after an accident. This helps doctors uncover potentially hidden injuries.
When to Call 911
- Severe head or face bleeding
- The person is confused, tired, or unconscious
- The person stops breathing
- You suspect a serious head or neck injury or the person develops any signs or symptoms of a serious head injury
Head Injury Prevention
It’s true that we cannot prevent not all head injuries. Still, it’s smart to be as safe as you can. Always use safety equipment (like helmets) when you or your child play a sport that could cause a head injury. When riding a bicycle, learn and follow the bicycle safety recommendations.
Integrated Injury Specialists
Integrated Injury Specialists have a skilled team of doctors dedicated to treating patients with a multidisciplinary approach. They work with attorneys to make sure your medical expenses are covered. They proudly accept medical liens, helping patients receive the treatment they require after accidents. No out-of-pocket payment is necessary. To find an accident injury doctor in Orange County, call 888-676-1285 or click to contact Integrated Injury Specialists today.