Parents of children playing sports are being warned about protective headgear giving kids a "false sense of security".
The warning came at a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee, into the issue of concussions in sport.
A number of medical experts say that while hurling helmets and rugby scrum caps are valuable - they do not prevent serious brain injuries.
Professor John Ryan, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Dublin's St Vincent's University Hospital, said that young children can misunderstand the function of protective headgear.
"They will protect the scalp but not the brain - in fact, there's even some anxiety in some circles that maybe it gives young children a false sense of security, allowing them to lead with the head, and use the head as a weapon, because it's now protected.
"The structure you really want to protect is the brain inside of that."