6 Helmet Myths Debunked

Helmets are an important safety accessory for various activities, particularly in sports where head injuries can have severe consequences. However, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding helmet usage, which leads to confusion and misinformation. We aim to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding helmets to help you make informed decisions regarding your safety. Our goal is to promote a better understanding of the importance of helmets and encourage proper use.

Debunking Common Helmet Myths

Myth 1 – Helmet Laws Do Not Apply To Adults

Helmet laws for all age groups are vital for ensuring the safety of both children and adults. It is widely believed that adults outgrow the need for helmets. However, research shows that adults influence helmet-wearing behavior in children. Studies indicate that when an adult wears a helmet, a child will more likely wear one as well. In fact, 95% of children wore a helmet when they were accompanied by an adult who also wore a helmet. Moreover, only 40% wore helmets with a non-helmet-wearing adult.

Additionally, helmet laws for all ages help to reduce the challenges of age verification during law enforcement. This simplifies the process by eliminating the need to determine one’s age.

Myth 2 – Ski Helmets Put a Strain on the Neck and Can Increase the Risk of Spinal Injuries in Children

A study conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia in 2003 has debunked the myth that wearing ski helmets puts children at risk of neck and spinal injuries. The study, led by Dr. Andrew McNab, examined injury data from the Whistler/Blackcomb resort over the course of the year. Out of 70 children under 13 who sustained head, neck, and face injuries, only 21 were wearing helmets at the time of the incidents. However, none of the children wearing helmets experienced neck or spinal injuries, and their head injuries were less severe compared to those not wearing helmets. These findings dispelled the previously held beliefs among parents, ski instructors, and even healthcare professionals that helmets put a strain on the neck.

Myth 3 – Helmets Restrict Lifestyle Choices and Helmet Laws Intrude on Private Lives

The argument that helmet usage restricts lifestyle choices and that helmet laws intrude on private lives is another myth. Society tends to accept laws that protect individuals from harm, even if the law may limit freedom to some extent. Think of the seat belt laws. The main goal of helmet laws is to prevent injuries and ensure safety.

Myth 4 – Wearing a Helmet Will Cause Headaches

Wearing an ill-fitting helmet may cause discomfort. However, wearing a helmet that fits properly will unlikely lead to headaches. A well-fitting helmet should be snug, but not too tight. If you experience headaches while wearing a properly fitted helmet, it may be helpful to drink water or eat a snack. Most sports that require helmet use are demanding and require skill, strength, and energy. Ensuring that you are properly hydrated and nourished is essential when preventing headaches.

Myth 5 – Helmets Cause Sweat and are Uncomfortable

According to Injury Prevention Centers’ Don Voaklander, helmets today are often designed to be lightweight, aerodynamic, and equipped with ventilation. It is recommended to try on helmets in stores, considering their sizes and measurements. When trying on a helmet, ensure that it fits securely without wobbling around. The helmet should remain stable on your head, even when you shake your head in various directions.

Myth 6 – Wearing a Helmet Encourages Risk-Taking Behavior

The notion that wearing a helmet encourages risk-taking behavior and gives a false sense of security has been contradicted by evidence. Studies show that head injury rates decline after the introduction of helmet legislation. This suggests that those who wear a helmet do not necessarily engage in risk-taking behavior. There is no scientific data that supports the “risk compensation” theory.


Debunking these helmet myths highlights the importance of helmet use for all age groups. It reinforces the significant role that helmets play in preventing head injuries and highlights the importance of promoting helmet use.

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