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Concussion Protection Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune: Choosing a Football Helmet For Your Young Player

Your White Plains personal injury attorneys take child safety seriously, and are consistently searching the latest findings. According to a recent study, when it comes to protecting young football players from concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, an expensive football helmet may be no more helpful than a less-expensive model. 

A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin Health Sports Medicine Center followed over 1,300 football players on teams at 36 Wisconsin high schools.  The study found that players wearing older helmets suffered approximately the same concussions as players who wore newer, heavier, and more expensive helmets.  The symptoms presented by both groups of players after a concussion were similar, and both groups had similar recovery times, according to the researchers.

During the study, coaches at each high school kept detailed records of the equipment each player used, including both helmets and mouth guards.  They also noted the number of games and practices each player participated in, the circumstances of each head injury suffered by any player on the team, and the treatment and recovery times each player reported.  Players wore helmets manufactured by Riddell, Schutt, and Xenith, three major producers of athletic gear.

A total of 1,332 players were tracked during the study.  During the football season, 115 of the players suffered concussions.  When researchers examined which helmets each injured player wore and that player’s recovery time, they found no differences between players who wore older helmets and players who wore newer, more expensive helmets.  

The study did, however, produce one unexpected result: analysts found that players who wore specialized or custom-fitted mouth guards suffered more concussions than players who wore the all-purpose mouth guards provided by their schools.

The study was released in the wake of marketing pushes by several football helmet manufacturers, encouraging parents and coaches to spring for the heavier, more expensive helmets as “the next big thing” in concussion injury prevention.  In fact, according to the researchers, “the helmet technology is advanced as it can be,” and a heavier helmet will not add protection – even if it does add costs.

Instead of sinking money into heavier or more expensive helmets, researchers recommend that coaches and professionals reconsider the rules of football in order to reduce the risk of concussion.  The push to change the way the game is played is gaining momentum at the high school level in particular, where athletes’ brains are still developing and concussions may do more long-term damage.

About 40,000 U.S. high school football players suffer a concussion on the field each year.  Concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head.  Symptoms of concussion include head and neck pain, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, and problems with communication, mood, and memory.  In severe cases, a concussion may cause permanent or even fatal brain damage.

Recent research has determined that multiple concussions in a short time period may be more dangerous than situations in which each concussion is inflicted on a healthy, fully-healed brain.  As a result, high schools and other athletic groups around the country are taking steps to monitor players of all sports and to sideline them whenever a concussion is suspected or diagnosed.  White Plains personal injury attorneys also take a keen interest in concussion research in order to better protect their clients. If your loved one has suffered a concussion, whether through athletic play or the negligence of another contact the White Plains personal injury attorneys at Lynch Schwab Attorneys, PLLC, today to discuss your options. 

Posted on September 18, 2013 in For Our Clients, Personal Injury