Calgary Herald

Helmets help prevent injuries, not concussion­s

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Helmets in football and hockey are extremely effective at preventing catastroph­ic head injuries, but their track record for avoiding concussion­s is spottier, according to sports science professors at the National Athletic Trainers Associatio­n convention in New Orleans on Monday.

Helmets “certainly help to mitigate forces that are distribute­d by impact to the skull and the intracrani­al cavity and the brain,” said Kevin Guskiewicz, a professor of sports science at North Carolina. “But the brain is still going to move inside that cranial cavity regardless of whether there’s a helmet on or not.”

Guskiewicz believes “behaviour modificati­on” such as not “leading with the head” when tackling in football can prevent concussion­s as much as improved helmet design.

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