Football is a sport that has come a long way in the past decades in terms of athleticism, but has the protective equipment kept up with the player’s increasing demand for protection? A recent study seems to think that football helmets in particular do almost nothing to prevent concussions in players. Even the newer helmets seen on the fields today provide little to no protection at all for most players. This concern has been at the center of some debates among existing players in the NFL and retired players too. Many retired NFL players suffer from various brain conditions later in life, which are typically linked to minor brain injuries received while playing the sport.
Football Helmets Provide Almost No Protection Against Concussions
Scientists conducted studies with various football helmets, in ways that were similar to car crash testing. They fitted crash test dummies with sensors around the head and neck and simulated impacts which players would typically receive during game play. The same studies were also conducted on the crash test dummies using no helmets at all, to see what type of impact would result from wearing no protection at all. The results were enlightening, but also alarming to those who conducted the study. These results are planned to be presented to the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual meeting in Philadelphia this coming April.
While the helmets provided little protection to the wearer against concussions, it should be noted that most helmets did prevent other head injuries by a significant margin. Players are still certainly better off wearing the helmets than not, because the risk of skull fracture was reduced by nearly 2/3 when wearing the helmets. This valuable study, and the information obtained during the testing will be put to good use to help develop a more capable solution for player safety. Protective equipment may never be able to prevent all concussions from happening, but by improving equipment standards across the board we can hope that at least some of these players will avoid significant injuries in the future.
Featured image from Wikipedia.
Football Helmets Provide Almost No Protection Against Concussions.