Performance analysis of winter activity protection headgear for young children

Laboratory investigation

Blaine Hoshizaki Ph.D.1, Michael Vassilyadi M.D., C.M., M.Sc.2, Andrew Post M.Sc.1, and Anna Oeur B.Sc.1
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  • 1 Neurotrauma Impact Science Lab, University of Ottawa; and
  • | 2 Paediatric Neurosurgery Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate how currently used helmets would perform for winter play activities, such as tobogganing. In Canada and northern parts of the US, the advent of winter is followed by an increase in visits to hospital emergency departments by young children presenting with head injuries resulting from winter activities. Sliding, skating, skiing, and snowboarding all involve risks of head injury from situations such as falling on ice or sliding into stationary objects. This study compared the protective characteristics of helmets used by young children (< 7 years of age) participating in winter recreational activities.

Methods

Ice hockey, alpine ski, and bicycling helmets were impacted at 2.0, 4.0, 6.0, and 8.0 m/second at the front and side impact location by using a monorail drop rig.

Results

The results for the front impact showed that the ice hockey helmet protected the child significantly better at 2 and 4 m/second when considering both linear and angular peak acceleration. The bicycle helmet performed significantly better than the other 2 helmets at 8 m/second for the front location and only angularly for the side impacts.

Conclusions

Depending on the impact velocity of the hazard, the type of helmet significantly affected the risk of brain injury.

Abbreviations used in this paper:

MEP = modular elastomeric programmer; TBI = traumatic brain injury.

JNS + Pediatrics - 1 year subscription bundle (Individuals Only)

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JNS + Pediatrics + Spine - 1 year subscription bundle (Individuals Only)

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