Helmets Don't Prevent Kids' Motocross Concussions - that's the headline of a post on the Medlineplus.gov website two weeks ago which reported the preliminary results of a long-term study.
A team of investigators tracked 35 boys ages 8 to 17 who competed in motocross events on tracks sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Association over a 10 year period to 2014.
All routinely wore mandated safety equipment: helmets, shatterproof
goggles, protective boots and pants, and long-sleeve jerseys, the
85 percent (30 riders) were injured while competing or practising, and nearly half
suffered concussion despite the use of helmets. One of the boys died from his injuries.
Nearly three-quarters suffered some orthopedic injury. Among 32
fractures, broken legs were most common, but broken arms, ankles and
collarbones were reported, too.
Lower extremity fracture risk was found to be twice as high as upper
extremity risk, and surgery was performed in more than 80 percent of the
lower fracture cases, the study revealed.
The study concluded that competitive motocross athletes younger than 18 years suffer serious, potentially
life-threatening injuries despite the required use of protective safety
equipment in AMA sanctioned events. Injuries were more common during
competition (30) than during practice (5).
Go here and search on "motocross" to find a detailed summary of the study as presented on Sunday 23 October at the annual meeting
of the American Academy of Pediatrics in San Francisco.