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Do Helmets Actually Help Prevent Head Injuries?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Head injuries are a big concern for every parent. Whether their child is riding a bike or involved in youth athletics, parents want to make sure that the risk of head injury is minimized as much as possible. And rightfully so. As we have reported, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries have been linked to a number of lifelong medical problems, including depression, fatigue, and sleep problems. Moreover, a person who suffers one concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, according to neurologists, and athletes are especially susceptible to subsequent concussions. Secondary impact syndrome (SIS) can result in massive swelling of the brain and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of blood flow to the brain, which can place the athletes at an increased risk for learning difficulties and other neuropsychological difficulties. Moreover, research shows that a traumatic brain injury can also increase the risk of stroke.

In an effort to reduce the risk of head injuries, many parents look to helmets to protect their children. But while helmets can help prevent some types of head injuries, they may not be as helpful as one would expect in protecting against concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries. In fact, earlier this year, a study out of Florida State University found that wearing a football helmet only reduced mild traumatic brain injury by 20 percent, compared to not wearing a helmet; helmets did, however, reduce the risk of skull fracture by 60 to 70 percent.

The reason that football helmets may not be as helpful as one would suspect is because brain injuries in football are caused by a rapid shifting of the brain inside the skull due to violent movement or impact, which helmets cannot prevent. Rather, helmets were designed to protect against skull fractures and subdural hematoma, which they do help prevent.

The benefits of bike helmets has also been called into question lately. As this Washington Post article indicates, two recent studies came to different conclusions regarding the efficacy of bike helmets, with one study finding that “the overall rates of head injuries were not appreciably altered by helmet legislation” and the other finding that “injury rates were about 20 percent lower in states with helmet laws.”

Contact an Chicago Head Injury Lawyer

Regardless of whether or not helmets actually prevent head injuries to the extent we think or not, those whose negligent actions cause a head injury can and should be held liable for their actions. For instance, if you were injured in bike accident, you may be able to recover compensation from the negligent motorist. Similarly, football organizations may be held liable for their negligent actions (or inaction) in taking steps to reduce the conduct that can cause head injuries or creating a sports environment in which head injuries are more likely.

At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who are injured as a result of negligence, including those who suffer head injuries, including children who have suffered a sports-related head injury. We will fight to get you and your child maximum financial recovery.

If your child has suffered a sports-related head injury such as a concussion, contact Ankin Law Office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago personal injury attorneys.

Categories: Head Injuries