02/18/2014

Football helmets may do little to prevent concussions

NEWS

Concussions in football have been a topic of wide discussion for years. Now researchers are saying that football helmets do little to protect players from head injuries.

A team from the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology and the Florida State University College of Medicine conducted a standard drop test analyzing the durability and safety of 10 common football helmets upon impact. Sensors were installed inside the head of a crash dummy to test the linear and rotational responses to 12-mile-per-hour impacts with and without helmets.

On average, football helmets reduced the risk of traumatic brain injury by only 20 percent. The helmet with the best protection against concussion (but the worst protection against closed head injury) was the Adams a2000 and the helmet with the worst concussion protection was the Schutt Air Advantage.

One researcher noted the most popular helmets happened to be the ones with the worst protection. However, the researchers found that helmets are useful in some ways, such as protecting the head against skull fractures (by 60 to 70 percent) and bruising (by 70 to 80 percent) from linear impacts.

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