More troubling news for parents with kids in contact sports: A study published yesterday by Virginia Tech researchers found most hockey helmets aren't very good at reducing concussion risk.
The study's authors tested 32 of the top-selling helmets. Not one received a four or five-star safety rating and only one helmet, the Warrior Krown 360, got a three-star rating.
Nine of the helmets are straight up "not recommended" at all, with zero-star ratings. Researchers say a zero-star helmet would yield six or more concussions across an average of 227 head impacts the average hockey player experiences in a season.
In the coming weeks the findings will likely get picked apart by other researchers and the makers of hockey helmets. How do researchers account for the thousands of different of variables that contribute to concussions? From ESPN:
The ratings are likely to generate controversy, not only because of the results but also because of the larger question: Can helmets prevent concussions, an injury that researchers are still struggling to understand?
A helmet can obviously cushion the blow, but there is still considerable debate over everything from the accuracy of the sensors used to calibrate the hits to the type of head forms that should be used to test the helmets.
Take a look and judge the methodology of the study for yourself.
The good news is that Virginia Tech released similar research showing football helmets were largely ineffective in 2011, and since then the industry has made widespread improvements in reducing concussions.
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