How Do I Choose the Best Helmet or Headgear?


A common question I get in clinic when seeing patients for concussion is “what is the best helmet out there for my son or daughter?” Or what headgear is the best for sports that use headgear instead of helmets? Typically, we have the discussion that there is no helmet or headgear that prevents concussion, but we do know that some helmets and headgear perform better than other. But how is that determined? Today on the podcast we have the director of the Virginia Tech Helmet lab who will help us navigate the world of helmet and headgear ratings. We’ll learn the process about testing and how you can use that information to make an informed decision for a helmet purchase.


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Links from this Episode:

— Dr. Mark Halstead – On the Web

— Dr. Steve Rowson – On the WebOn Twitter

— Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings

— Virginia Tech


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The Host of this Program:

Dr. Mark Halstead - Host of The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast - St. Louis, MOMark Halstead: 

Dr. Mark Halstead received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He stayed at the University of Wisconsin for his pediatric residency, followed by a year as the chief resident. Following residency, he completed a pediatric and adult sports medicine fellowship at Vanderbilt University. He has been an elected member to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and the Board of Directors of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). He has served as a team physician or medical consultant to numerous high schools, Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Washington University, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Athletica, and St. Louis Rams. He serves and has served on many local, regional and national committees as an advisor for sports medicine and concussions. Dr. Halstead is a national recognized expert in sport-related concussions and pediatric sports medicine.

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The Guest on this Program:

Steve Rowson - A Guest on The Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast with Dr. Mark HalsteadSteve Rowson: 

Dr. Steve Rowson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech.  Dr. Rowson conducts injury biomechanics research with an emphasis on concussion and safe product design and assessment.  He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers on these topics, some of which have been used to make sports safer through rules changes and improved protective equipment.  He was a co-developer of the STAR evaluation system to quantify overall helmet performance in the context of real-world head impact exposure.  Dr. Rowson is currently the director of the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, where he runs and maintains the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings.

Connect with Steve Rowson: On the WebOn Twitter