If one were to take the time to look at old photos of early sports players, especially those from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, it’s apparent how the lack of proper protective gear affected athletes. Long before there were any safety rules in place, sports players would forgo any kind of gear when out on the field, and over many years of constant injuries and better rules and regulations, it became more and more important that athletes began making use of protective gear.
Today, there is plenty of solid science to support the practise of wearing helmets when playing sports, and this is especially important for younger children whose brains are still developing.
Protecting From Concussions
It’s not uncommon for some athletes to shrug off the odd concussion as nothing too serious, but the evidence shows that repeated concussions can lead to long-term brain damage that can negatively impact the athlete for the rest of their lives.
Concussions are always serious, and it’s become much more common for anyone suffering from a concussion to be taken directly to the hospital as an emergency. Helmets can help protect against concussions, providing an extra layer of padding that can absorb most of the energy that would otherwise go directly into the head. It’s important to remember, however, that while it might provide some protection, there are no helmets that can completely stop a concussion from occurring.
The infamous cauliflower ear is an ailment that tends to affect those that engage in contact sports, such as rugby or wrestling. It’s caused by repeated damage to the ears, and after a while, blood clots begin to form to the point where they cause visible deformities to the ears. While it isn’t life threatening, it can be extremely difficult to fix the problem. Fortunately, the wearing of helmets completely eliminates the chance of developing cauliflower years.
The skull is incredibly hard and resilient, but even it can suffer from fractures if enough force is applied. For the most part, skull fractures are not too serious, but they can sometimes lead to further damage and may even require surgery to repair.
There are a lot of bones in the human head, and depending on where the force is aimed, the damage can either be nothing more than a bruise, or a full fracture that can take many months to heal, and in pro rugby it can be enough to alter rugby betting odds. One of the main benefits of wearing a helmet is to totally redirect the energy away from bones and tissue.
An athlete doesn’t necessarily have to suffer from a concussion before they can expect to start dealing with long-term brain injuries. Just having the brain subject to extreme forces over long periods of time can eventually lead to brain damage, and there’s often no way of fixing it, especially if it’s severe. Research has shown that helmets are effective when protecting the brain against permanent injury.