Some people shouldn’t be allowed Internet, also concussions are bad

My friend Bei shared a very interesting article the other day from Kyle Wagner over at Gizmodo, basically saying that helmets are very good at preventing skull injuries – as in: when you bash your head against the concrete, or into another grid iron player, or my fist (yeah right), or whatever else you use your helmet for, it’s much less likely to mean your skull will split open and cause massive brain trauma and injury. A very good thing. This is why many places have made it illegal not to wear a helmet while biking, or why grid iron football players have worn helmets for a long time (P.S. I can’t believe I am comfortable saying “grid iron football” instead of just “football”. Next thing you know I’ll be telling people to “get it in ya” and that it’s the middle of the “arvo”. I digress).

Combat helmets: they stop bullets to the brain, but don't stop bullets to the heart. Best we get rid of them.Photo: © Mccool | Stock Free Images

Combat helmets: they stop bullets to the brain, but don’t stop bullets to the heart. Best we get rid of them.
Photo: © Mccool | Stock Free Images

What Wagner’s article pointed out, however, is that helmets cannot necessarily prevent concussion. By definition, a concussion involves the brain smashing against the inside of the skull. If you hit something with enough force, that cushy fluid surrounding your brain will not be able to stop the inertia that involves your brain plastering the inside of your thick skull, and that is another kind of bad brain trauma. Basically, your brain gets bruised.

So, yes, helmets cannot prevent everything bad happening, and we should be aware of that. Perhaps there are other measures we can take in high risk sports. For example, boxers and martial artists often wear mouth guards, not only for protecting their teeth, but there appears to be a theory that they may absorb the shock of a hit and reduce the risk of concussion, although it should be noted that the evidence for this is very limited and not entirely conclusive. Until further research is conducted, it is still a “myth” in the world of neuroscience.

Now, what I want to highlight in this article is the general standard of logic and intelligence in the average internet user that comments on most Internet articles. I have found that commenters on this blog have been of a particularly high standard, and I am thankful for that. However, I suspect that the more popular a blog becomes, the more chance you have of encountering complete idiocy. I direct you to the comment of “Jayhawk Jake”: “I think the best solution is to stop wearing helmets.”. Yes, yes, that is the best and most logical conclusion. If something fixes one thing but not everything, it’s best we get rid of it. Another commenter more reasonably pointed out that perhaps something like leather helmets, which may absorb more of the shock, may be better to return to. But I just can’t get over the over-reaction in the original comment. Honestly, people, if you cannot treat scientific results in a sane way, perhaps you shouldn’t be allowed them. Joking. Sort of.

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2 thoughts on “Some people shouldn’t be allowed Internet, also concussions are bad

  1. Thanks for clarifying *other* aspects of helmet protection! Often when science is translated to mainstream media, it’s not the key findings that are lost, but many *other* important aspects that were neglected, and in this case, the protection of helmets against other types of head injury, which you nicely summed up. I remember reading a post a while ago, saying sleep deprivation immediately after traumatic events might reduce the risk for PTSD (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/248021.php), and the article did not mention the fact that the study was done on rats (not human) until towards the end, and it surely didn’t mention it in the title. In today’s fast-moving internet age, most readers (even if they are well aware how to read science) hurry through posts and articles, which makes quality and responsible science writing ever more important.

    And yes, there are many people who make comments that’d reflect the more simplistic or even extreme views. Some of them are actually quite funny 😛 One thing I love about the internet is that many popular sites are more or less self-regulated eco-systems. Bad comments often don’t become widely endorsed and good comments usually prevail.

    • I agree and your comment is really on point for what I am going to share in my post tomorrow, especially when it comes to generalising results from rats to humans!!
      Also, I agree that the majority of people on the internet are sensible, and although you get the occasional stupid comment, I don’t *actually* believe any comments, no matter how stupid, should ever be censored out. But I do wish that the many people who likely have very intelligent things to contribute to online discussions would speak up more often.

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