MIPS Brain Protection
"MIPS" is the acronym for the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, a novel technology developed by a Swiss company in collaboration with neurosurgeons that is designed to protect the human brain from the effects of rotational and linear forces. Specifically, MIPS technology has now been applied to helmets worn during rigorous sports activities to prevent head injuries resulting from oblique (angled) impacts with the ground or other solid objects.
How Does a MIPS Equipped Helmet Protect the Brain?
Surrounding the brain is a thin layer of cerebrospinal fluid that allows the brain to "float" inside the skull while protecting it from forceful impacts. MIPS helmets imitate this fluid-based type of protection by substituting cerebrospinal fluid with low-friction material that is sandwiched between the inner foam liner and the outer shell of the helmet.
By allowing the outer shell to move in respect to movement of the inner foam liner, MIPS technology significantly limits linear and rotational forces exacted by impacts that pass straight through the skull and affect the brain. Essentially, when you wear a MIPS helmet, your head is "floating" inside the helmet the way your brain is loosely cushioned by cerebrospinal fluid.
The cerebrospinal fluid part of a MIPS helmet consists of an elastomeric attachment wedged between the inner liner and the outer shell. On impact, this elastomeric attachment allows the inner liner to move independently around a person's head in response to rotational forces transferred to the brain following certain impacts.
MIPS Helmets - Effective Protection Against Concussions
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries caused by blows to the head, falling and striking the head or any kind of accident that produces severe shaking of the brain against the sides of the skull. Because a concussion can occur without exhibiting visible bruising or wounds, many concussions are not immediately identified. In fact, symptoms of concussions may not emerge until hours after the injury, such as nausea, vomiting, headache and cognitive issues.
You don't have to lose consciousness to suffer a concussion, which makes wearing a MIPS helmet while participating in athletic activity that much more vital to ensuring this kind of deceptive injury does not happen to you. While non-MIPS helmets offer design features that protect your head from blunt forces (usually a blow to the top of the head), MIPS helmets also provide added protection against oblique falls that involve hitting the side of your head, where your skull is thinner and more vulnerable to allowing serious damage to occur to the brain.
MIPS Helmets for Kids
According to the CDC, emergency room visits for sports-related brain injuries, including concussions, has increased by 60% among kids up to 19 years old since 2006. Moreover, the CDC reports that several million concussions affecting children every year go unrecognized and untreated by parents or ER personnel simply because they are asymptomatic.
Primary reasons why children are more susceptible to concussions involve the underdevelopment of their brains, specifically the inadequate myelination of neurons and their connections and the fact that children have much weaker necks than adults. When combined, the lack of myelination and weak necks exacerbate the damage caused by blunt and/or oblique impacts during physical activity. Although mild to moderate concussion symptoms usually diminish within one week for 80 percent of those suffering a concussion, 10 percent may continue experiencing symptoms well past seven days and another 10 percent will suffer post-concussion syndrome.
MIPS youth helmets like the Giro NINE JR helmet helps ensure children and adolescents are protected as much as possible from potential brain injury. Lightweight, amply vented to eliminate fogged goggles and featuring Giro's "In Form" fit system, the Giro NINE JR helmet offers outstanding head protection for kids involved in vigorous sports activities.
Brands Using MIPS Tech
Currently, MIPS has licensed the use of its technology to several helmet makers, such as Red, POC, Giro, Smith and Scott, and applies to equestrian, snow and bike helmets. Youth helmets are also available.
Smith helmets created with MIPS technology include Vantage, Camber, Compass, Pivot, Pointe, Maze as well as their youth helmet, Pivot Jr.
Giro helmets with MIPS include Range, Nine, Ledge, Era and two youth helmets - the Crue and the Nine Jr.
Scott helmets with MIPS are Symbol, Seeker and their youth helmet, Quiver.