Helmets may prevent injury or death for those caught in a tornado, say researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Injury Control Research Center. In a commentary posted online on its website, the research team suggests that any kind of safety helmet, from hard hats to football helmets to bike helmets, are an essential addition to an individual’s tornado-safety preparations.
“Head injuries are a major cause of tornado-related deaths in the United States,” said Scott Crawford, MPH, a research assistant at the ICRC and the commentary’s lead author. “Alabama is the nationwide leader in tornado-related deaths with 412 fatalities recorded since 1980, demonstrating the need for a readily available, low-cost intervention to reduce risk.”
According to the medical examiner’s office in Jefferson County, Ala., at least 11 of the 21 fatalities in the county in the wake of the massive April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak resulted from head or neck injuries.
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