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Helmet research

 Poster: A snowHead
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This is interesting

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/news/research-shows-ski-helmets-do-not-prevent-concussion/
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Bern do types of helmet, one to protect against a lot of small bumps & knocks & the other to protect against a big smack.
The big smack one would need replacing after any type of hit - while the one designed to take a series of hits (but not a big hit, would not).
The trade off is lighter weight for less protection
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Interesting especially that helmet wearers have fewer accidents than non wearers. Of course it is difficult to measure the number of falls by helmet wearers where no injury occurs but might have occurred if no helmet was worn given that non helmet wearers are probably more aggressive* skiers and taking more risks


* by aggressive I mean more risk taking rather than trying to pick fights Smile
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A good preliminary study of the obvious.
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Interesting that the study seems to fund that the Risk Compensation Behaviour theory seems to disagree with their datasets.
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Not often I say this about a helmet thread but that's really interesting, thanks for posting it. Told you it was a first.

Abstract is here:

https://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(17)30320-4/fulltext

Article conclusion:

This study confirms the effectiveness of helmets in protecting users from head injuries but questions their effects on TBI, especially concussion.

This isn't massively surprising. A helmet will protect you from minor head injuries but not more serious head injuries. That's roughly consistent with what one might expect from looking at the construction of a ski helmet. Having that empirically confirmed, though, is extremely useful.

The thing I was not expecting is the significantly lower risk of any injury at all among helmet wearers and this should finally bring the curtain down on the risk compensation hypothesis. Helmet wearers either take fewer risks, are significantly better at taking risk than non helmet wearers or both. This almost certainly tells us more about the kind of people who buy helmets than anything else.
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Interesting but I guess early days in terms of the data. Also whether or not the new helmet tech will improve the incidence of concussions which I think would be the biggest reason people wear helmets.
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thecramps wrote:
This is interesting

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/news/research-shows-ski-helmets-do-not-prevent-concussion/


Not much news here, but the NFL have tried to reduce the consussion impact. (not seen it in skiing yet).

https://money.cnn.com/2017/09/16/news/companies/vicis-nfl-helmet-concussions-safety/index.html

Sweds have made this one:

https://hovding.com/


http://youtube.com/v/vg6yl7zbIz0
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Rabbie wrote:
Interesting especially that helmet wearers have fewer accidents than non wearers. Of course it is difficult to measure the number of falls by helmet wearers where no injury occurs but might have occurred if no helmet was worn given that non helmet wearers are probably more aggressive* skiers and taking more risks


Its an odd one, thats for sure - I dont wear a helmet, but ski with friends, many of whom do - none of us is any more or less aggressive a skier - quite a strange result, but good to see some decent analysis for a change.

Re concussions in other sports, I agree that this is the one that will make people sit up and notice.

Scottish football is considering a ban on heading the ball for juniors / youths for this very reason.
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Not surprised it doesn't eliminate concussion totally.
the only time I have given myself concussion was from a lovely heel edge slam on my board.
crushed the back of the helmet and I definitely lost my memory recall for a few days.
am still really glad I had it on though as the impact force to deform the helmet like that would not have been pleasant against my skull.

I guess the question is... How much do we expect it to fully prevent concussion or tbi, in comparison to protecting from broken skull or hits directly to the head.
in an ideal world it would reduce both but ultimately how our brains are designed that seems unlikely to ever totally happen.
so until then the risk mitigation of reducing however slightly and protecting from traumatic external head injuries has to be significant
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The problem is the study is based on people who have sought medical attention. It's difficult to know how many helmet wearers received a blow to the helmet that didn't result in going to the medics. Comparing people who've reported as having head injuries, some with helmets and some without and guess what similar numbers have concussion.

Comparing percentages of those injured against total numbers wearing/not wearing would give some idea.
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Hyst wrote:


Sweds have made this one:

https://hovding.com/


http://youtube.com/v/vg6yl7zbIz0


Seen this in a local bike shop. I assume it could be ok for skiing as a fall is a fall. Would it be any better at preventing concussion? If not it would be an expensive option for not real gain apart from not having something on your head so better visibility and feeling like you are not wearing a helmet. Not sure if the collar mskes it difficult to turn you head.

Anyone got one?
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Personally I want Kali to make a boarding helmet as their bike lids seem to contain a huge amount of research into reducing concussion.
Sadly doesn't seem on the cards at the moment.

I agree with the poster further up about it only being on medical reports. Like a moron my concussion wasn't reported at all as it was the only issue.
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I see a lot of people wearing the Hovding for cycling around Stockholm. Tried on my colleagues one and it’s pretty comfortable. But I wouldn’t think it’s suitable for skiing, especially if you are like me and fall over in ridiculous ways.
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Themasterpiece wrote:
I see a lot of people wearing the Hovding for cycling around Stockholm. Tried on my colleagues one and it’s pretty comfortable. But I wouldn’t think it’s suitable for skiing, especially if you are like me and fall over in ridiculous ways.


Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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Themasterpiece wrote:
I see a lot of people wearing the Hovding for cycling around Stockholm. Tried on my colleagues one and it’s pretty comfortable. But I wouldn’t think it’s suitable for skiing, especially if you are like me and fall over in ridiculous ways.


And wouldnt protect you from chairlift bars, poles bring used as pointers or being hit by skis over the shoulder when the holder swings round when they are oblivious to you . Which are the usual ways I get hit on the head rather than just a fall.
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Saw the thread title and immediately groaned but the article was actually very balanced and interesting.

While current helmets may not prevent concussion, the new technology in newer helmets has the potential to - and over time you'd expect the new technology to become standard across all helmets.

Also, the contradiction of the risk compensation theory was suprising!

“The reduced risk of non-head injury in helmet wearers was surprising because the helmet does not protect other parts of the body,” commented Dr Bailly. “It suggests that helmet users take less risk than those who do not use helmets. This contradicts the ‘risk compensation theory’, which implies that the perception of being protected by the helmet might lead people to take more risks.
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This is interesting however it doesn't seem to recognise the fact that maybe some people are wearing a helmet not just to prevent concussion, but also to prevent breaking one's skull in half smacking it onto rock solid ice at 30mph and/or spilling one's brains all over the sparkling white snow.

Helmets are proven to be quite good at both.
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A major factor is what your head actually hits in the case of a fall / collision, With road cycling and motorcycling, if the head hits anything, it is probably over 90% chance of it being 100% hard, ie will not deform when hit by a head, the road is such an item, a car door panel would have some deformation.
On ski slopes, even what appear to be quite hard pistes will be no harder than the EPS layer in a ski helmet, it is vaguely possible that when a helmeted head hits a piste of a particular hardness that the brain will decelerate quicker because the larger shape does not deform the snow, rather like comparing a cricket ball to a football of similar mass, the smaller cricket ball will deform the snow, energy will be absorbed by the snow rather than the ball, a much larger football will not deform the snow and bounce back.
Comparing wearing a helmet when skiing to cycling should be treated with caution.
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dp wrote:
... prevent breaking one's skull in half smacking it onto rock solid ice at 30mph and/or spilling one's brains all over the sparkling white snow.

Helmets are proven to be quite good at both.

This research shows precisely the opposite of what you're suggesting: helmets protect from minor head injuries but not more serious trauma.

A 50km/h impact against something solid is well beyond any helmet - think about the physics: where is the energy is going to go?
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Handy Turnip wrote:
Saw the thread title and immediately groaned but the article was actually very balanced and interesting.

While current helmets may not prevent concussion, the new technology in newer helmets has the potential to - and over time you'd expect the new technology to become standard across all helmets.

Also, the contradiction of the risk compensation theory was suprising!

“The reduced risk of non-head injury in helmet wearers was surprising because the helmet does not protect other parts of the body,” commented Dr Bailly. “It suggests that helmet users take less risk than those who do not use helmets. This contradicts the ‘risk compensation theory’, which implies that the perception of being protected by the helmet might lead people to take more risks.


Yep it is interesting, and even more so that it totally goes against an experiment from some years ago showing that helmet wears take more risks than those who dont. Bath Uni IIRC conducted the research Madeye-Smiley( or it may have been Bristol ) Although the article does only say 'suggests'.

Got to talk about something in the summer though Toofy Grin
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philwig wrote:
dp wrote:
... prevent breaking one's skull in half smacking it onto rock solid ice at 30mph and/or spilling one's brains all over the sparkling white snow.

Helmets are proven to be quite good at both.

This research shows precisely the opposite of what you're suggesting: helmets protect from minor head injuries but not more serious trauma.

A 50km/h impact against something solid is well beyond any helmet - think about the physics: where is the energy is going to go?


You should think about the physics. The energy is the same in both instances - whether you have the helmet or not.

The inner of the helmet is shaped similarly to your head. The block of ice is not. In fact, your skull is curved and ice is often flat, so the chances are that a round skull meeting flat ice will focus those forces on a relatively small area. With a helmet, where the inner shape matches that of your skull more closely, the force is distributed more evenly across your skull.

Honestly I have seen a non-helmeted head hit a patch of ice at high speed (the guy was a vegetable for a while then eventually died), it was not pretty, a helmet might not have stopped the concussion and I'm not saying it would, but it probably would have stopped all that energy from being focussed on a very small spot on his head which basically smashed it wide open which I doubt did him any favours.
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This has been debated endlessly on SH for years.

The debate always concludes that ski helmet protection is directly related to speed.

The faster you hit something, the less it protects.

For everyday, consumer, non-pro, non-race helmets...

* 0-10kmh = high protection.
* 10-20kmh = medium protection.
* 20-30kmh = low protection.
* 30-300kmh = no protection.
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@Whitegold, agree in principle, and whilst those figures might not be scientific, it's a good starter

But I still do believe - with the guy who I saw smash his head into the ice at high speed - his skull would have not broken like that if wrapped in a helmet. And he was definitely over 30mph
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Quote:

Yep it is interesting, and even more so that it totally goes against an experiment from some years ago showing that helmet wears take more risks than those who dont. Bath Uni IIRC conducted the research Madeye-Smiley( or it may have been Bristol ) Although the article does only say 'suggests'.


I'm not sure that is unexpected. Helmet use has increased drastically over the last 10 years. I wouldn't be surprised if the characteristics of the groups of those who do/do not wear helmets have changed during that time.
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@Gämsbock, +1

I didn’t wear a helmet 10yrs ago. However when my eldest started skiing (age 4) and helmets were compulsory for her, we started wearing them, so as to set the right example.
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The main results of the study are not especially surprising - whitegold has it right - helmets provide good protection against relatively minor knocks bashes and crashes but little against anything major. As an aside, I suspect that they actually contribute to the number of minor knocks (of the sort not reported) - I always laugh at friends who on their first day wearing a helmet hit themselves on the head with the chairlift bar and say "thank goodness I am wearing a helmet", ignoring that they have never hit themselves before and perhaps their head being an inch bigger than normal actually caused the hit...

The finding that helmet wearers are less likely to have accidents overall is interesting (and on the face of it counter-intuitive), but not compelling. Cause and effect is not explored. Could it be as simple as many of those who were initially more likely to wear helmets were less likely to take risks? Certainly amongst my friends the first ones to move to helmets tended to be those who were more risk averse generally, although as helmet use becomes more widespread that effect obviously reduces.

On the flip side to that there are certainly one or two of my friends (but by no means a majority) who ski more "bravely" when wearing a helmet - one scarily so....
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@NickyJ, same here, it's responsible parenting, my kids trip over their own shadows anyway .
We sticker bombed my helmet which probably isn't good for it but they are so often either boring or swat team-esque.
Regards helmet wearers having fewer accidents, I often feel that I'm going faster than I am with the wind whistling away in the earpieces maybe making me more risk aware.
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@Graham Warren, we were sharing a nursery slope a few years back with a mum and their child. The child kept taking the helmet off and refusing to wear it, mother shouting at them to put it on.... looked at the mother to see they weren’t wearing one themselves. Hmm wonder why the child didn’t want to wear the helmet rolling eyes
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Quote:

The finding that helmet wearers are less likely to have accidents overall is interesting

and probably false. Most people now wear a helmet so most accidents now involve someone wearing a helmet.

Quote:
it's responsible parenting

My kids wear helmets but I don't. They happen to think its cool to wear one, probably cooler because I don't wear one. More importantly, mine know the FIS rules, maybe not verbatum but they know where to stop, what to do when setting off, basically how to think their way around and avoid collisions, when to go for it and when not to, and how to control their speed when they need to. We all ski at speeds beyond the design limits of helmets so, as a parent, slapping a lid on your kid is only job 10% done - if they stop over a brow on an icy motorway piste and get totalled by a big fat boarder, whether they are helmetted or not is probably irrelevant.
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Oi leave the skier / boarder thing out of it. But I agree with the other sentiment.
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Pruman wrote:
Quote:

The finding that helmet wearers are less likely to have accidents overall is interesting

and probably false. Most people now wear a helmet so most accidents now involve someone wearing a helmet.


Not sure you’ve quite understood that point properly!
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Thinking about this it makes sense. Helmet wearers may well be likely to take less risks. They have already taken a precaution by wearing helmet in the first place - sure this is an obvious sign that they are more cautious Smile
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A lot of people on here used to argue (not seen it in a while) that wearing a helmet made you more susceptible to taking risks since you felt protected. I always thought this was complete BS because I fail to see how a helmet will prevent you from breaking your legs or your neck.

I'm with @beeryletcher in that people who make the conscious choice to buy, and wear ski helmets are clearly risk-aware and pro-active about it, so it would make sense that their on-piste behaviour matches that of their choice of equipment.
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If just one person a season is less injured than they would have been without a helmet that is the only stat we need.

I don't think anyone here thinks a recreational helmet is going to fully protect them in a situation where major head trauma is a likely outcome but it might just make it less serious.

It the little accidents that probably make the difference to most folk, those that might've otherwise resulted in a couple of stitches and a sore head.

When I had my worst ever fall I slid a long way down an icy schuss and the side of my face would have been badly scraped/skinned without the helmet and goggles.
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@robboj, Spot on Robbo. Slow moving loose ski after a fall, slow motion fall backward ending with a clout on the bonce... Helmets are good for those (and I seem to have one a holiday!). I started skiing post- Schumacher, so have always worn a helmet to placate my wife. In the last century, I was a military helicopter crewman: I never thought that the helmet was going to save me if we ever shed a blade or tail rotor! Saved me lots of stitches though.
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Oh I love these helmet threads. Toofy Grin Just like religion. Shocked

I know this one is not about skiing, but anyway interesting......

https://helmets.org/shouldi.htm
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A helmet thread in the middle of summer!

Graham Warren wrote:
@NickyJ, same here, it's responsible parenting, my kids trip over their own shadows anyway .
So they should wear helmet in the house too
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@abc, Yes. Yes they should! And be clad in bubble wrap. Been to A&E so many times we have a loyalty card.
I wear one around them when skiing but I prefer not to wear one. If I'm on my own or with growd ups doing easy stuff I'll leave it at home but if I'm pushing myself I'll stick one on.
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@Graham Warren, I actually try to wear one most of the time, except the few occasions when I forgot them at home. It's so bloody cold without it.

Others may prefer the opposite. Maybe it's too hot for some people... whatever.

I just don't get the religious preaching of helmet Nazis.
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