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Helmets

Related Terms

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Background

  • Helmets are a type of safety equipment worn on the head during certain sports or recreational activities to prevent head injuries. Helmets create a barrier between the head and external surfaces and are usually designed to receive most of the force of impact. Helmets may be required or voluntary, but are usually worn during activities that may cause head injuries, such as bicycling, football, baseball, lacrosse, roller and in-line skating, horseback riding, ice hockey, and skiing.
  • Helmets protect against different types of impact. Bicycle helmets protect against the impact on the ground related to a fall, possibly at high speeds. Football and ice hockey helmets, on the other hand, may protect against falls, impacts from other helmets or the bodies of other players, or impacts from balls or pucks. A lack of head protection may lead to head trauma and brain injury.
  • Helmets may have been used by bicyclists as early as the 1880s. They were made from a material called pith, which would absorb the impact of a fall and also protect against the sun. By the 1900s, the design changed to strips of padded leather that encircled the head.
  • The 1930-1950s showed an increased interest in safety during sports and other activities, with helmets being widely adopted by many organizations. The Snell Memorial Foundation began in the late 1950s after an amateur car racer, William Snell, was killed in an accident when his helmet did not provide adequate protection. The foundation focused on developing safety standards for many types of helmets. It developed its first standard for bicycles in the 1970s.
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Technique

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Theory/Evidence

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Safety

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.