Evaluation of impact attenuation of facial protectors in ice hockey helmets
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which ice hockey facial protectors can decrease overall head acceleration during blunt impacts, as well as to identify whether attenuation differences exist between visors and cages. Commercial models of three cages and three visors were assessed. Blunt impacts were simulated, permitting the measurement of peak accelerations (PA) within the surrogate headform. Results indicated that face protectors, in combination with helmets, substantially reduced PA during blunt impacts within threshold safety limits (below 300g). In general, cages showed lower PA than visors. Differences between models were also observed during repeated impacts and impact site. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that facial protectors function beyond their role in solely preventing facial injuries, complementing the role of the helmet in attenuating head deceleration during impact. Consequently, the utilisation of facial protectors may reduce the severity and incidence of head injuries.
Keywordshelmets impact facial protection ice hockey
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