This past Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics released their findings of a research project on helmets and mouth guards in high school aged football players, the lead was this;
High-tech helmets and custom mouth guards do not reduce concussion risk for high school football players any more effectively than low-cost helmets or off-the-shelf mouth guards, a new study says.
This is a point we have been trying to hammer home since the inception of the blog; simply Physics does not allow for current technology to reduce or attenuate the true forces that cause concussion in the vast majority of the cases. Those would be: acceleration, deceleration, rotation and angular vectors that cause the brain to shift inside the skull.
The most important thing about a helmet is that it’s well-maintained (regularly reconditioned) and has a proper fit. Certainly there is some merit to the newer helmets padding designs for helping with the true linear forces reaching the skull; however helmets are doing what they’re designed for – preventing skull fractures and facial injuries.
It is unlikely that a helmet – as we currently know it – will abate those pesky forces attributed to concussion. In reality if that is where the fix needs to come from then we will most likely be looking at some sort of apparatus that is attached to the shoulders that basically harnesses the head down. The issue there, of course, is the range of motion to allow a player to see and move in a safe way. Regardless this information presented by the AAP is nothing new but wonderful because it comes from a group that has “clout”.
What is more interesting to me – and a bit of an endorsement of our words – is that simple Continue reading