Do Helmets Stop Concussions? How To Stop Concussions

Blue Sandbox Helmet Sideshot

I got an interesting question via email:

Do helmets stop concussions?

That’s a tricky question. The answer is yes, but also no.

Why doesn’t a helmet prevent concussions?

Concussions are caused by the impact of your brain against the inside of your skull. The problem is that most ski/snowboard impacts that result in concussions happen at speeds beyond the protective abilities of a helmet.

This means that if you hit your head hard enough to get a concussion, you’ll usually still end up with a concussion, even if you were wearing a helmet. You may however, end up with a slightly smaller concussion than if you weren’t wearing the helmet.

What’s a helmet good at protecting?

Blunt impact protection. The best thing that helmets do is protect your head from being cracked open. Hard hits on rocks, ice , rails or trees can be a lot more fatal if you aren’t wearing a helmet. Instead of letting all the impact go to one spot on your head, helmets help to distribute the impact to the rest of your head.

Imagine falling on a sharp rock without a helmet on. Simply put, that would suck, especially since rocks can be hidden under a thin layer of snow.

The best concussion protection…

Wear a mouth guard. A lot of concussions are caused by the impact of your teeth slamming together and mouth guards are designed to stop that. This is why you’re starting to see more and more pro snowboarders/skiers riding with mouth guards.

Hope that answers your question!

What’s are your thoughts? Do you wear a helmet? Why / why not?

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  1. i wear helmet always since the day I hitted my head with ice and the headache was horrible all days for months. sorry, i speak english really bad :S

  2. I always wear a helmet and last week I took a major fall, hit my head and did suffer a concussion. I would think that had I not worn a helmet, I most likely would have been knocked unconscious and things would have been much worse. I would like to know if some helmets protect better than others. I am still feeling the effects of the concussion a week later.

    • Unfortunate there’s not enough data out there on each individual helmet to say which protects the best. Most of them use the same protective hard foam though, so you can roughly expect most helmets to be very similar.

      With concussions the effects can last anywhere from a few weeks to months depending on how bad you hit your head, so it’s one of those things that just takes time to heal.

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