You are on page 1of 2

We need your help documenting history.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Helmet (disambiguation).
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve th
is article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be ch
allenged and removed. (December 2012)
A woman wearing a bicycling helmet
A helmet is a form of protective gear worn to protect the head from injuries.
Ceremonial or symbolic helmets (e.g. UK policeman's helmet) without protective f
unction are sometimes used. The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian sold
iers in 900BC, who wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from
blunt object and sword blows and arrow strikes in combat. Soldiers still wear h
elmets, now often made from lightweight plastic materials.
In civilian life, helmets are used for recreational activities and sports (e.g.
jockeys in horse racing, American football, ice hockey, cricket, baseball, and r
ock climbing); dangerous work activities (e.g. construction, mining, riot police
); and transportation (e.g. Motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets). Since the 1
990s, most helmets are made from resin or plastic, which may be reinforced with
fibers such as aramids.
The word helmet is diminutive from helm, Medieval word for combat protective hea
dgear. The Medieval great helm covers the whole head and often is accompanied wi
th camail protecting throat and neck as well. Originally a helmet was a helm whi
ch covered the head only partly.
Contents [hide]
1 Design
1.1 Materials
2 Helmet types
3 Heraldry
4 Gallery
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
A protective helmet worn during rock climbing
All helmets attempt to protect the user's head by absorbing mechanical energy an
d protecting against penetration. Their structure and protective capacity are al
tered in high-energy impacts. Beside their energy-absorption capability, their v
olume and weight are also important issues, since higher volume and weight incre
ase the injury risk for the user's head and neck. Anatomical helmets adapted to
the inner head structure were invented by neurosurgeons at the end of the 20th c
Helmets used for different purposes have different designs. For example, a bicyc
le helmet must protect against blunt impact forces from the wearer's head striki
ng the road. A helmet designed for rock climbing must protect against heavy impa
ct, and against objects such as small rocks and climbing equipment falling from
above. Practical concerns also dictate helmet design: a bicycling helmet should
be aerodynamic in shape and well ventilated, while a rock climbing helmet must b
e lightweight and small so that it does not interfere with climbing.
Some helmets have other protective elements attached to them, such as a face vis
ors or goggles or a face cage, or an ear cage or ear plugs and other forms of pr
otective headgear, and a communications system. Sports helmets may have an integ
rated metal face protector (face cage).
Baseball batting helmets have an expanded protection over the ear, which protect
s the jaw from injury.
Motorcycle helmets often have flip-down face screens for rain and wind protectio
n, and they may also have projecting visors to protect the eyes from glare.
Hard hats for construction workers are worn mainly to protect the wearer from fa
lling objects such as tools.
Helmets for riot police often have flip-down clear visors and thick padding to p
rotect the back of the neck.
Modern firefighter's helmets protect the face and bac