PNG images: Helmet

A helmet is a form of protective gear worn to protect the head from injuries. More specifically, a helmet aids the skull in protecting the human brain. Ceremonial or symbolic helmets (e.g. UK policeman's helmet) without protective function are sometimes used. The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900 BC, 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 helmets, now often made from lightweight plastic materials.

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Helmet PNG images

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In civilian life, helmets are used for recreational activities and sports (e.g. jockeys in horse racing, American football, ice hockey, cricket, baseball, camogie, hurling and rock climbing); dangerous work activities (e.g. construction, mining, riot police); and transportation (e.g. motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets). Since the 1990s, most helmets are made from resin or plastic, which may be reinforced with fibers such as aramids.

The word helmet is diminutive from helm, a medieval word for protective combat headgear. The medieval great helm covers the whole head and often is accompanied with camail protecting throat and neck as well. Originally a helmet was a helm which covered the head only partly.

All helmets attempt to protect the user's head by absorbing mechanical energy and protecting against penetration. Their structure and protective capacity are altered in high-energy impacts. Beside their energy-absorption capability, their volume and weight are also important issues, since higher volume and weight increase 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 century.

Helmets used for different purposes have different designs. For example, a bicycle helmet must protect against blunt impact forces from the wearer's head striking the road. A helmet designed for rock climbing must protect against heavy impact, 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 be lightweight and small so that it does not interfere with climbing.

Some helmets have other protective elements attached to them, such as a face visors or goggles or a face cage, or an ear cage or ear plugs and other forms of protective headgear, and a communications system. Sports helmets may have an integrated metal face protector (face cage).

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