A helmet manufacture understands the issuesPosted: February 19, 2008 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: American Dental Association, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Canadian Standards Association, Concussion, Head injury, helmet, Mouthguard, Uvex Leave a comment
Uvex has been selling ski and bicycle helmets for a while. Their helmets, from a legal standpoint, are about like everyone else’s. You can argue color, shape, design or air flow makes them standout, but the legal reality is Uvex helmets are a one-hit helmet just like everyone else’s. However Uvex has realized and have eliminated a flaw in their protection plan for customers. All helmet manufactures for the skiing, biking and other industries had missed a major component of head injuries.
Head injuries come in two different types, 1.) Bruises and cuts and 2.) Concussions. Most helmets do an adequate job of protecting against bruises and cuts to the head. At the same time, a plastic bowl and duct tape will also do a fairly good job for a lot less money. Concussions are the real threat to the long term health of participants.1
One of the major sources of concussions is blows to the jaw2. That is why football players and many other sports participants wear a helmet and a mouthguard.
Mouthguards protect three ways. Mouthguards protect against neck injuries, they protect teeth and they protect against concussions3. The protection against concussions is the most important thing a mouthguard does.4
At present The American Dental Association5 recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field Hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.6 This list is old and has not kept with the increase in the variety of sports people are undertaking today.
Mouthguards take on an even bigger role in sports where the injuries to the head occur by hitting the jar or face such as skiing, biking and whitewater rafting.
Uvex has recognized this issue and is now selling an LP Mouthguard along with their ski and bike helmets. The mouthguard appears to be like those we used in junior high (way before middle school) football. It can be custom formed by boiling the mouthguard and then forming it to your teeth.
If you are serious about protecting yourself or your customers from injuries, then you need to understand the issues.
- What are the real types of injuries my customers face?
- What protections are available?
- What protections that are being used by the industry work?
- What protections being used by the industry don’t work?
Based on the research from other sports, a person wanting to protect against head injuries should be wearing a helmet and a mouthguard. Thanks Uvex.
1 Journal of Athletic Training
4 Sportsguard Laboratories, Inc.