No Good Evidence That Mouthguards and Helmets Ward Off Concussion.

Cyclist Riding with Helmet

While mouthguards and headgear protect against some facial and head injuries, they do not adequately protect against concussions. In fact, some athletes derive a false sense of security from this protective equipment and are more apt to take risks.

A contentious issue in the sports world is how soon an athlete can return to play after sustaining a concussion. Therefore, appropriate medical guidelines on this topic are vital. These were recently developed at the Fourth International Conference on Concussion in Sport.

The guidelines include a concussion recognition tool, and a precise definition of a concussion. They discuss concussions in children as well as guidelines for treatment. In addition to the guidelines, the conference attendees also developed a question and answer guide, symptoms checkers, and assessment tools, as well as a statement about the likelihood of certain protective equipment to reduce the risk of sustaining a concussion.

McCrory, P. Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012. British Journal of Sports Medicine (March 2013).