Clothing thus plays an essential role in the maintenance of the thermal and fluid balance with thermal comfort and thermal discomfort as intermediate factors. Participation in contact sports across all levels carries the risk of sustaining a head injury through an impact event. In an effort to mitigate the head injury risk to professional and recreational athletes, the use of certified protective headgear is recommended and sometimes even mandated during play.
Recent high-profile accidents have highlighted not only the need for safety equipment but also the need for further research into safety equipment. Compared to other high- speed sports and extreme sports, snow sports are lagging behind in terms of protection against head injuries. For example, mountain biking has specific protective equipment for each discipline. Downhill mountain bikers, who often race down on the same mountain slopes as skiers, have developed full face helmets, cycling glasses, body armor and neck and spine protectors as part of their cycling clothes.
In addition, the sport of cross- country mountain biking has developed open face helmets for high ventilation without sacrificing the protection offered. Mountain biking has the luxury of being able to gain knowledge from sister sports such as motocross and road cycling; however, skiing does not have this luxury.
Skiing is the pinnacle and the oldest snow sports event and should filter its research into other snow sports. This can be seen in terms of avalanche protection and the development of air bags and rescue equipment, as well as rescue services. However, the need to protect the head has not been of paramount importance as 10–20% of skiing injuries are head injuries, and 10% are potentially serious head injuries.
Expert opinion is that there is still insignificant findings to suggest that helmets should be mandatory, yet serious head injuries still occur when the user is wearing a helmet. This highlights the point that further research needs to be done both into the design and material selection and into the mechanisms of snow sport helmets to ensure that they are fit for all scenarios. Sport helmet systems are expected to deteriorate over time. In fact, the known reduction in protective capacity of the American football helmet system has led to an accepted restorative process throughout the industry.
Regardless, overall sport helmet designs can be generally divided into two categories: multi-impact and single impact. For example, sport helmets that require protection from multiple repetitive impacts include American football, lacrosse, and ice hockey. Meanwhile single-impact protection is required for cycling.
Cycling apparel would hence, consist of a single head gear covering the top part of the head.History not only provides ample demonstrations of the associated and specific levels of risk, but it also provides a perspective on attempts to mitigate them. The highest level of risk associated with sports is death followed by catastrophic, life-altering injury. Hence wearing a helmet and making them mandatory in sports is a must.